A couple of good stints during the week mean that the cantata is now fully sketched, the last two solo movements now the only ones which really need some work. I managed to tap out some decent ideas for the vocal lines and then fill in the gaps in the accompaniment enough to give me a hefty amount of material with which to work, so from here it is all about refining and paring away the rough edges.

I keep needing to remind myself to disconnect the critical part of my brain when I am sketching a first draft, that knowing something does not work should not be an impediment to getting it down in the first place. In order to be able to work with something you do first need to have something with which to work, after all.

By the end of the coming week I think that the cantata should be finished in all but the smallest details, by which I mean that all the notes should be there, but it will be a case of caressing matters such as interpretation, and then checking the score over and over again for errors. We are all human, but I am still distressed when something sneaks through.

There are already two other pieces ready for me to turn my attentions to, both of which have some preliminary sketches, a short work for choir and a larger orchestral piece. I feel more confident in my writing post-symphony, if still having work to do on that symphony counts as being “post-“, so I am looking forward to seeing where the next canvasses lead me.

As for the cantata, the first performance is in Oxford on 3rd April, and the second shortly thereafter in London on the 6th. I think that the whole piece works well, and I am very keen indeed to hear how it flows from start to finish, for I have spent a huge amount of time tinkering with the structure and the text and many other things besides, so to hear that whole construction which thus far has existed only in my imagination come to life will be both nerve-wracking and exciting.