Finally finished the score and parts to Appendage, three weeks before rehearsals begin. What a relief. This is the song cycle that was composed in 1993. Since then, various elements of different versions of the piece had been misplaced, so I had to re-do the entire, 1000-measure piece. Basically a month of data-entry, with very little composing. Total drudgery.

I did make a few adjustments, though. I don’t think I changed more than a handful of notes, but I revised some articulations and refined some of the French poetry – there are passages where the soprano shifts back and forth between singing in English and French. (You can ask me why I chose to have some passages in French, rather than doing the whole thing in English, but I’m not sure I could give you a good answer – it just seemed like the right thing to do for this piece. I blame Bernard Rands’s Canti del sole, a wonderful piece I heard the NY Philharmonic premiere in 1983, for my habit of disregarding language consistency in a number of my vocal works.)

Now I’m finally getting back to work on String Quartet No. 4: The Infinite Sphere. The deadline for this piece is July 1st, but I really need to have it finished by May 29th, for reasons that I may have an opportunity to explain in a later post. Not having a chance to look at it since mid-March was a bit nerve-racking, but it was also wonderfully clarifying: it was great to discover that the piece is 90% right, and that I know exactly what to do in order to bring the other 10% into focus.

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