10 July 2024

The New Face of Bliss

Loose, wordy, and not of the modern world. I may possibly have a negative side, too.
It cannot be helped. I never noticed until today that one anagram for “pedestrian” is “deep strain.”
“I just think that Catholic spokesmen should hesitate and reflect before calling anything they disapprove of, ‘a trap for the gullible’.”
Porridger’s Almanack (Breakfast of Ganglions)

We all sat down [...] and looked at one another in a friendly but rather awkward way. It was the first practical trial of our theories of equal brotherhood and sisterhood; and we people of superior cultivation (for as such, I presume, we unhesitatingly reckoned ourselves) felt as if something were already accomplished towards the millennium of love. The truth is, however, that the laboring oar was with our unpolished companions; it being far easier to condescend than to accept of condescension.

— Nathaniel Hawthorne, from The Blithedale Romance

Earlier, I spoke of a rabbithole of re-scoring Things Like Bliss.I can happily report that this was an undue exaggeration. I may explain at another time how I fell into that misprision, or then again, I may not. As reported erewhile, the original 2016 scoring was for clarinet, two guitars and de minimis contrabass. It seems that I then made an adaptation for flute, for my friend and colleague Peter H. Bloom. Why? I’m quite puzzled by that myself, as (impractical as it proved for me to assemble a brace of guitarists) I do not think it was ever particularly likely that Peter would collect so many guitarists instead, or either. Today I pushed on and finished the clarinet/harp retrofit, although I need to proof the harp part (particularly the bass clef, as pasting into different voices sometimes yields odd typographic artifacts. I think the odds are good that I attend to clean-up tomorrow, ahead of PT on Friday. As I was coming into the home stretch today, I thought should I prepare a version for viola? Now, before we leap to the accusation of reflexive unnecessary version proliferation, a real vice to which I am historically susceptible, which is partly why I thought there were more versions of Bliss than in fact, the viola thought inspired the very happy prospect of a practical adaptation: fl/va/hp for Ensemble Aubade. I believe this is the ticket, in being a version—the version—which will at last result in an actual performance.

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