I am freshly back from a weekend of very hard work in Anghiari, taking various choir rehearsals in preparation for our Dream Of Gerontius concert in Rome next month as well as getting ahead on the music for the summer. In the end it all went very well indeed, but it was a full-on experience with a great deal of intense and unremitting work, as it always is, tough but eminently rewarding.

At least as important as the work are the people, of course, and as usual I had not even managed to remove my case from the taxi before I was waved at by various folks wanting to welcome me back. I was there for a similar event in May of last year, but then failed to make it at all for the Festival itself, being struck down very heavily indeed by my first and thankfully only encounter with Covid (so far).

Bizarrely, these events tend to be one of the best opportunities around to get ahead on organising various things, because all the right people are in the same place at the same time, so I am able to look ahead to the rest of the year and beyond with a little more certitude. I also had an interesting conversation on the Saturday night in the epicentre of the town (Bar Baldaccio) which could turn out to prove to be very productive indeed, as I was asked about my symphony which, it turns out, seems to have hidden its light under a bushel as far as quite a few people are concerned.

In a way that is to be expected because, at the last count, there were still several billion people on the planet who have not yet subscribed to the blog, but somehow I still find it a surprise when I am reminded that something which has been at the centre of my efforts for the past three years is news to others. As it transpired, one of the people within earshot is deeply involved in the organising of the Festival and, after I had done my usual thing and ranted on about the piece for a while (I usually need just the smallest push to get started), was absolutely resolute about getting it performed next year.

I have very little doubt that said person will move heaven and earth and possibly some other places as well in order to get it done, which has put me in a position now where, very happily, I have to finish the thing. Having spent so much of the past two weeks (three years?) plagued by doubts about what the point of it all might be, I suddenly find myself in a position where I can possibly look forward to having the entire thing come to life, which is a very significant step indeed.