The musical world continues to come back to life, slowly and incrementally and in the face of many obstacles, but the emails are beginning to trickle in and there are some promising signs. I have some rehearsals booked, even a couple of concerts, so am starting to feel optimistic about the coming months although the phrase “cautiously optimistic” has rarely been more accurately used.

I continued work on the symphony yesterday morning, happy enough with the first movement to progress to the second and tackle some long-standing problems, although to my pleasant surprise it seems that I had done some quite extensive remedial work the last time I spent some sessions on it. I had girded my loins in preparation for having to deal with some severe structural issues but it seems that I had already faced down these problems.

Well, good on the past me for leaving the present me so wonderful a gift, and it made my morning substantially less tricky than I had feared. In the end I added lines and details, changed certain elements and, in essence, changed what was once repetition into development in an attempt to keep the music new even when familiar.

At times it was even quite exciting, because I am the kind of man who does actually get excited about invertible counterpoint, but that’s the old-fashioned way I roll. Once upon a time I taught that kind of stuff at conservatoire level but it is considered less and less important these days, although I still believe that the craft is essential. It worked well enough for Bach.

Rather than tackle the same movement again today I might instead move on, maybe try to cover the whole symphony at least once a week. It will give me a chance to step away from developments and changes and come back to them afresh and hopefully give me a much better idea of what has worked and what has not.