I made a couple of passes of the Dunstan cantata yesterday to check through a few things, and there were several moments that needed catching, from errant slurs to wrong notes to the occasional moment that Sibelius managed to put in when my back was turned. I shall keep doing daily passes on the piece over the next few days before I turn my attention to the layout of the full score and then the parts.

I have no doubt that I shall miss some small thing in the orchestration, but at least if I keep chipping away at progressively smaller details then the chances of everything being in place at the first run are increased accordingly. Thankfully each successive run is taking a little less time, and from tomorrow I shall begin listening to playback, trying to hear the mistakes that my eye has missed.

The piece looks pretty good on the page, I have to say, and that is always a good sign, especially more than two months out from the first performance. I need to do a little work on the percussion part, I think, maybe add in a little more detail here and there, but I am happy that the bulk of the heavy lifting was done some time ago.

Come Monday I will consider this piece done and dusted apart from a little bit of formatting and get back to the sketches I had made for something else, another entry for a competition. The plan is for that piece to take me to the end of next week, for another competition work to take me to the end of the month, and then to concentrate on the new Mass commission in March.

Somewhere in there I also need to compose a few links which will ease the Dunstan cantata into the other works in that evening’s programme, but I hope to sneak those in before the end of February. After the middle of March it all goes a little quiet, at least from where I now sit, but there are plenty of pieces to write if one knows where to look, plenty of technical areas to address, plenty of work to be done.