Mirabile dictu I managed to get the first version of Why Should We Not Sing? finished over the weekend, despite an onslaught of various different admin and organisational type things. Sunday was also taken up with zipping around town, Peeters Missa Festiva in the morning, Duruflé Requiem and Reger Passacaglia in the evening. If the Emperor thought that Mozart had too many notes he would have had a fit upon seeing one of Reger’s scores.
I was put off Reger for many, many years by having to tackle one of his organ pieces at far too young an age, but, my word, it is magnificent stuff to play if you can get around the stretches and the pedal trills. The final page of the Passacaglia is staggering in its fundamentally logical conclusion to the work, the shift to the major wholly unexpected and wholly right, likewise the final recap of the very opening.
It was a Sunday full of notes, however, without much room to breathe, and this morning I gave a class on the music of Delius, stopping via the Mass Of Life and the Double Concerto, the latter of which I find particularly interesting. Nothing has yet to grab me and not let go, but there are ways in, certainly. I feel that his music sounds like so many different things that at times it is hard to put one’s finger on what Delius himself sounds like.
Yesterday evening also saw the first performance of The Lord Is My Light, another small compositional step forwards. I think that the Bath Responses are to be performed at Mary Abbots during the month, and then it will be on to the Christmas pieces, of which more anon. For this week I shall need to do some tidying and rearranging on two or three different projects, but I should be able to get down to some fresh writing by Saturday or Sunday, I hope. There are a couple of pieces to write before Christmas, so I need to keep those pencils as sharp as possible. At least I am still in the habit of getting up and working early in the day, if doing something for a week constitutes a habit.
It was reassuring to find out that Delius, like Elgar, was a composer to whom success came in his 40s, the product of hard and constant work, rather than fashion. I am still bemused by the idea that I should be creatively spent by the time I am thirty as a composer, but I would guess that there are people in other professions who feel much the same. Frankly I feel as though I am just hitting my stride.