Yesterday was a day for clearing the decks as the snow fell all too gently outside. I would have been happy to have had a thick covering, for while all the roads out of here point upwards it is not as if I am going anywhere at the moment, so it would have been lovely to have had something to befuddle the cat while he left his dainty little tracks in the snow.

I stayed with Mozart for a while, though, travelling back a little in time to try to work out why the ‘Prague’ symphony lacks a minuet and trio. None of the possibilities that I have found so far has struck me as particularly believable, so I am hoping that listening to the piece a few more times might just trigger an Aha! moment if the composerly part of my brain kicks in. There have been times when this has worked before, but this does seem like a particularly optimistic hope.

Getting through things did at least bring the list of tasks that includes the symphony closer to the top of the page, which was actually quite refreshing to see. I know that Mozart worked more or less every day, but, then again, look at what happened to his health, and we should balance against him the likes of Mahler, who kept his composing for the summer months only and then did his conducting for the rest of the year.

As I write that paragraph I can just hear somebody saying to Mahler “Ah, so you get some time to enjoy your hobby in the summer, at least,” which, of course, is what composition is to some people who do not understand it. Mind you, many seem to think that music in itself is a hobby, so no wonder that it is being treated so badly at the moment in comparison with some other fields which contribute a whole lot less to the financial (bits that those in charge understand) and mental (bits that we all feel) well being of this country.

At least I am fortunate enough to be in a position where I can find the time to be able to do some composing, something which was at the top of my list of aims when I took that time off work at the beginning of 2020. Admittedly, I was not expecting things to be quite like this when I envisaged a lifestyle that would allow me to work predominantly from home and also leave me time to write, but things could be a whole lot worse, and at least I have the opportunity to take a deep breath and look out at the snow, hear Debussy’s Des pas sur la neige at the back of my mind.