This list could have been carefully chosen, or randomly chosen or spontaneously chosen.
I already alluded to the problem of formlessness [Sunday, May 20th] and it happened that I liked very much the first duo I wrote (bitonal in harmony, but polyphonically good, also). So I decided to make a ritornello from that.
This is not the only baroque reference. I had meanwhile taken the first of the sketches from the Poulenc model and changed my mind about what to do with it [Thursday, May 10th]. I have made it into a single mood, texturally constant slow movement, such as you can find in Vivaldi (his op.8 no.1 and 3 have slow movements like that). Incidentally, I intend to call Vivaldi’s
“Not The Seasons” just “op.8″ from now on. I hope others will follow suit.
That “single affection” kind of movement is the simplest thing you can do. So why choose it? Three reasons. 1/ It breaks the habit of trying to be difficult and complex in order to impress colleagues. 2/ It was the first thing that came into my mind and so the choice breaks with the habit of calling into question one’s imagination. 3/ Like a meal, a piece needs contrast, and simplicity contrasts well with complexity.
I like concerts that have varied “courses” too. Six grim dirges in a row are not very appetizing. But Satie’s flouting of such classical music conventions in the Gymnopédies is vastly entertaining. And in Vexations, even more so.