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CREATING 'THE EMPEROR'S ORCHESTRA'

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PATRIC STANDFORD's diary for this recent commission

 

<< Continued from last week

26 January 2001

An interesting problem. At one point the Emperor, who thinks the orchestra makes its own music as it goes along, storms into one of their weary rehearsals and demands some new music from first the flutes, then the oboe and so on. After several unsatisfactory attempts, this has now become an aleatory section. It works well, but has certainly lost me quite a bit of time in coming to it. Ian Lavender has agreed to do the narration. I remember him well from Dad's Army and more recently a number of successful pantomimes. Things are now looking good.

Ian Lavender. Photo: Jay Alice Preece

5 February 2001

A good waltz yesterday and, in spite of wanting the day off for my birthday, a pleasing march today. The end is in sight. Just a few bricks need re-arranging. Sometimes it is simply the order of two or three little events that needs changing for things to fall into place.

12 February 2001

Scoring completed this evening, with a great feeling of satisfaction. It has to be alright -- too late to go back over it now. Orchestration is a process I very much enjoy. The tough composition being done, it leaves this wonderful jigsaw of colour to sort out and arrange. I copied the first three pages of score to the computer and estimate from my pencil score another sixty typeset pages to go. The aleatory bits will be time consuming. Can't do any more until Wednesday, and have a completely free weekend ahead, so an optimistic confidence swathes me!

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Copyright © 22 May 2001 Patric Standford, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, UK

 

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