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In response to some very legitimate criticism of an earlier orchestral work of mine which lacked a central motif and introduced too many disjointed themes in a 33 minute overture,  I decided to break the piece up and convert it into a symphony.

Here is the first movement with a very distinct unifying theme.

I fear however that I may have over-corrected and over-used the theme.

Please let me know what you think of the piece overall.



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One of the things that I enjoy doing is taking a brisk piece in 3/4, slowing down the tempo and creating a 4/4 version of it.

I personally feel that this sometimes really brings out the notes of a beautiful melody as the one in the 3/4 minuet from Mozart's Don Giovanni Act 1, which I have rendered as an Andante for violin and piano in 4/4.

I have used just the melody from the Minuet. The lower voices (piano parts) are mine.

There have been a few suggestions on the Mozart Facebook group that the original may not in fact be a composition of Mozart's with one user claiming that it's actually the work of Swedish composer Carl Michael Bellmann who was a contemporary of Mozart's. 

I'm agnostic on the issue of ownership and just love the beautiful melody. 

Link to MuseScore Audio:



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Prologue to this blog..



Self reference invariably leads to contradiction, and Bertrand Russell's eponymous paradox, which he communicated to Gotlieb Frege around the turn of the (20th) century, was no exception, rather, it would become the canonical example that shook the axiomatic foundation of naive set theory and mathematics itself.

It really shouldn't have had such a profound impact, to be honest; It was no more surprising (nor resolvable) than children's diversions such as "This statement is false. Is my statement true or false?". It caused a great deal of consternation amongst logicians because they're a breed that has little tolerance for the indefinitive, unlike Euler for instance, who famously solved the Basel Problem on intuition, but didn't rigorously prove the result, at least by present day standards. The gulf between the two is vast. Russell's Paradox is easily conceived by anyone, whereas Euler's solution was devilishly clever and had evaded the best mathematical minds of Europe for about a century.

To frame the problem for the gentle reader without any knowledge of set theory, imagine the infinite lists of things that could be constructed. Some of those lists themselves contain other lists, eg:


List A

-the list of long haired dogs

-one particular Etruscan knife

-list A


Notice that the last item is 'List A' itself. So, lists can contain any object, includng both other lists, themselves, or other lists that contain themselves. What Russell suggested was The List Of All Lists That Do Not Contain Themselves, and asked, does this list contain itself?


Now, I got to contemplating preludes and fugues last night, and their inherently self referential nature, particularly when, as I often have, the composer of such odious objects constructs the prelude out of motivic material borrowed from the fugue's episodic passages or countersubjects. In fact, early on, I endeavored to construct the prelude exclusively from the elements of the corresponding fugue that were not the fugue's subject(s) proper, in order to lend some thematic continuity and significance to the pairing, instead of merely sticking two pieces together that sounded nice, or complementary, side by side.

Yet this still falls short of an absolute motivic coupling of the prelude and fugue, without the introduction of the subject itself to the prelude. And while we're there, why not just present the exposition, too? Well, you can imagine, this epiphany tore me from my chair, slammed my against the wall, slapped my face and embraced me in a passionate kiss, just as in one of those old, corny war-era movies.

I saw at once the artistic economy and an opprtunity for respite from the arduous and miserable task of composing these verbose, bloated objects of immitative tedium we smugly refer to as 'fugues'. My contempt for fugue welled up inside as I envisioned a musical lanscape liberated from the abject objects of contrapuntal trickery, a brave new world in which preludes are written to themselves.

And these benefits are not constrained to just the prelude and fugue. One can easily imagine the analogous dismissal of books, stories, and essays, as well, where prologues to themselves serve the purpose succintly. The world is cluttered with books and fugues, and I've been guilty of contributing to that littering on my own part, but I'm trying to change my ways.







a draft of Prelude to Itself and Itself in G:





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