At some time early on Saturday afternoon I tinkered with some more notes in the first movement of the symphony and then sat back and listened to that section from start to finish, and I think that it is done. One down and three to go as far as movements are concerned, but even at my rather slow rate of progress I hope that I shall have the piano score finished by the end of June.

That should then give me a couple of months to work intensively on the orchestration and, if all goes well, I should actually have a symphony together by the beginning of September. It will all depend, as always, on many other factors, not least how much remains of my ever elusive get-up-and-go, but I think it is a generous time frame and am optimistic that it will be done by then.

Of course, had it been my sole focus and had I put in hour after hour of intensive work then it may well have been finished by now, but it would have been a substantially different piece and I am not necessarily convinced that it would have been better. There have been plenty of patches when it has been put aside to simmer and one or two moments when I simply could not see the way forward, but in the end it looks as though the finish line might just be in sight.

In the meantime I shall keep listening and keep refining and polish away as much as possible, but the fundamentals of the entire piece seem to be in place. A year and a bit from beginning to end seems about right, and at least I shall emerge from lockdown with something to show for it, not quite as much as I could have produced, but enough to look back and say that I did something hopefully worthwhile.

In other good news, my Nunc Dimittis will be performed tonight as part of the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, which is good news. After so few performances in 2020 it really does feel as if things are slowly coming back to life once again.