Rehearsals have begun for Shadow on the Sun. For the majority of time I spent working on it, I had in mind a tempo of quarter equals 108-112 for the main body of the piece. Then, as I was finishing it up, I suddenly felt sorry for the lower brass, who had an awful lot of 16th notes to project for that tempo, and I adjusted to quarter = 104.
Right before the first rehearsal, I got an email from the conductor, Michael Dodds, asking if 104 might be a tad slow for the piece. I conceded that it might.
I showed up for the second rehearsal and, indeed, 104 was painfully slow. I gave the thumbs up for the faster tempo, and immediately the music came to life.
One of these days I will finally stop letting other considerations distract me from the importance of having exactly the right tempo.
There just doesn’t seem to be any place for pity in the creative process.