I’m a bit behind schedule on several pieces right now. I had hoped to have my fourth string quartet sketched by the end of September, but the last movement is proving elusive. For October I was going to focus on initial sketches for my fifth quartet, but I haven’t gotten started on that yet.

Fortunately, neither of those pieces has to be in the performers’ hands until July, so I’m not worried yet.

Meanwhile, I’ve just finished up a long-considered transcription of Sonata: Motion for violin and piano – the piece was originally for flute and piano. The first movement switched instruments rather easily. The second movement needed a complete revision to fit the violin. The third movement got extensive work too, because I was never satisfied with the piano part.

The transcription needed to be finished right away, for reasons I’ll get to in a later post.

This week, work on my quartets had to wait while I wrote a four-minute piece for violin and piano, based on an aria from my opera Buffa.

And I haven’t given any thought to my Schumann Trilogy in about a year. I need to get back to it before too long, though, because it’s a monster. But it isn’t due until January 2010, so, as with the quartets, I’m not too concerned yet.

All of these pieces have me in an unaccustomed, though not uncomfortable, position. I’m used to figuring out what I want to work on, setting a timetable, and beating that timetable rather handily. With these pieces, though, I’ve been given deadlines and set my timetables accordingly (eg, first draft in September) — but I’ve fallen behind from the outset.

Right now I’m not worried. But if I’m still behind my timetables as spring begins, you’ll see me dripping gobs of perspiration all over this pristine blog.

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