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I am still running slightly ahead of schedule, but there are two large projects on the horizon. The first is a rearrangement of Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien for Southbank Sinfonia, trimming the orchestration slightly to fit a smaller orchestra. The second is a series of introductions for this year’s Anghiari Festival, where I shall be talking about the music and doing various other bits of fire-fighting, which last year included arranging, playing, rehearsing, conducting and so on. I need to get the Tchaikovsky done by the middle of the month, and the introductions done by the middle of July. Last year I worked on these when I was out in Anghiari, and with seventeen concerts to introduce, each of which had around three pieces, it meant a frenetic week of listening, researching and translating. This time around I intend to have the work done before I head out so that I can relax just a touch more and be available for other emergencies. I might even be able to get some composing done.

Tchaikovsky – I enjoy some of his pieces, some others I find terribly dull.

I grasped an otherwise dead hour yesterday morning to continue sketching my new choral work. An idea for a section of this had appeared in my head when I awoke and needed to be caught on paper, and I was pleased to find out not only that it was substantially better than the material I had originally written for that section of the text, but also that it was thematically linked with some sketches from later on in the piece. The human brain is truly a thing of wonder. I have long known that the brain continues to work behind the scenes, but continue to be amazed at some of the things it pushes into my composing consciousness.

The human brain – wondrous machine.

Today is the big day, Prometheus day, and I hope to be a gibbering wreck come three o’clock or so. If I am in a fit state I shall do some work this afternoon, ideally on the choral piece, as I would like to get it out of the way before I tackle the Tchaik and the introductions. It seems unwise to leave it as a torso and then come back to it months down the line. The Viola Concerto has already suffered enough precisely from this malaise, and, with some other commissions under discussion, I think that the further ahead I get now the better things will be.

Samuel Clemens hits the nail on the head, as usual.

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