I think we’d all agree that the LSO Panufnik scheme is a truly amazing opportunity – to be one of just six composers chosen to write a piece for one of the best orchestras in the world does sound rather mind-blowing. And of course it is! But they don’t like to make it too easy for us . . . as I imagine nearly every other blogger in this forum will have remarked, this ‘commission’ has been made exceedingly tricky to handle, not necessarily due to the complex nature of the orchestral palette we’re dealing with, or even the balancing act many of us are undertaking (between this and the various other simultaneous commissions). No, the Devil, for us, appears in the apparently benign form of the number 3. Or perhaps, more accurately, that obscenely small time limit of just 3 minutes long! This might be an irritatingly recurrent theme throughout the Panufnik blogs (and I apologise for bringing it up yet again), but really, it is such a tricky problem to address. Full-length piece with beginning, middle and end, or short, exploratory study? “Show ‘em what you can do”, maverick-style, or aim for a strong, cohesive piece of stand-alone music? Or both?

I’ve foolishly plumped for the latter. My first draft score was submitted yesterday to Colin Matthews, and I wait with trepidation to see if he thinks I’ve succeeded – I shall, no doubt, post all ensuing criticism here very soon!

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