I finished “One Train May Hide Another” last Wednesday. I’ve got a few revisions to do, but nothing major. I was rather hasty in saying that I could get the song to be only 6 minutes long. I think it takes that long just to read it aloud! It ultimately clocks in at 11 minutes! By far the longest song I’ve ever written (though still 14 minutes short of being my longest piece period). I’m incredibly happy with it, though.
The song’s length has forced me to reconsider the overal shape of the cycle. So, in order to rebalance it, I’ve decided to reverse the song order. In the current order, the two shorter songs don’t balance well; they become an annoyance – the piece, psychologically, feels over, so the other two just serve to make the cycle “too long”. With the shorter ones first, the longer song becomes the perfect denouement.
The length is also making me consider the excerptability of the song. Although it refers musically to the other songs in the cycle (thanks, precompositional planning!), it stands on its own very well. For the first few performances, I expect that “One Train” may be the only part of the cycle performed because of programming considerations, which doesn’t at all hurt my feelings. I may indicate in the score that “One Train” may be performed separately. We shall see.