Last night, Gentle Reader, I worked faithfully on Scene 10 of White Nights, and made the changes which I had planned. And—without sinking into the trap of There must always be changes to consider—this morning, the (genuinely) improved Scene then showed me other imperfections...you strengthen (replace) the "worst" links in the chain, and you then learn which links are the next-weakest.
At 5:10AM, it was a mild predicament. The artistic anvil had not cooled fully from last night's work, and I felt ready to repair (probably) as needed. But I would certainly miss the bus which I prefer to take, to be in the office at a certain time. But, only a mild predicament, because I have other options (beginning with the next bus, half an hour later). So, I went ahead and rolled up my figurative sleeves.
The morning's work was curiously liberating in two ways.
First, I don't really have any "deadline" for the Scene; I created one, in an admittedly arbitrary manner, based on the ephemeral sense of how long I felt my musical mind "needed" in the discovery of the solution. (Considering, pace Igor Fyodorovich, each new piece to be a kind of musical 'problem' to be solved–in the present case, a brief collage of four echoes of, or variations upon, musical material already exposed in the course of the ballet.) But in truth, and especially since there is no external demand for the finished product, the only goal is The Best Whereof I Am Capable.
Second, the various Plans B for the commute in to work are all fully acceptable from the side of the office. I realized—a very epiphany—that I enjoyed the complete freedom to take 20 minutes, wherewith to avail myself artistically of the yet-hot irons.
The result is, that the Scene is now, I am 99.7% sure, done.
And I am free to let it cure today, and overnight, so as to rest certain. Therefore is my heart full this morning.
When finished—and now I can use the phrase when finished without fear of hearing a snicker behind my back—White Nights will be, well, monumental in character. But as I know from my long track record of smaller-scale pieces, in art, all of the details matter. So yes, I want to make absolutely certain that I own each and every note of the piece. I want to make certain that each number, great or small, is fully invested with the artistic integrity which has always been my highest aim.
Gentle Reader, I have been puttering with this two-minute piece, each day for almost a week now, and I can report that it has been a labor of laser-like love: to make sure that each successive echo of music heard earlier in the Grand Piece should fulfill its promise, and should be never even the shadow of a throwaway. And maybe I shall work a bit more still, a few minutes each day, to ensure my own (and only my own) complete artistic certainty, so that it may only be Saturday morning that I truly pronounce the Scene done. The result will vindicate my efforts and the time.
Additionally, I've been "reclaiming" the 2006 score of Intermezzo II, whose composition really has been complete all this while...but that is another story.