Well, after a couple of months of re-assessing musical values/outlook, I am back on track again. It also helps that after 2 1/2 months the US Coast Guard and US Navy finally produced my new glasses, and I can see properly for the first time in a long while. Sweetwater Springs Suite was written more or less on command. Mvt I is vigorous and boisterous, rushing and splashing about. (7:48). Mvt II is a simple canon (2:56). Mvt III (4:09) begins as a fugue, but becomes quite free form after a short time. The name is taken from an area in Sonoma County, which includes Redwoods, Madrone, mountain lions, many birds, and a creek called Sweetwater Creek, which is dry most of the year. The music can be considered as a sort of Moldau, but musically, no relationship to Smetana, as will quickly become quite obvious. Now, the real work has begun, which is why the new glasses are so helpful. I have the drudgery of fussing over layout, expression, etc. on the Sibelius score.
I always enjoy your music and this was no different. I only had time to go through each movement one time, but I really enjoyed the little musical journey.
I don't know if it was because I've been listening to Webern all day or what, but this sounded a lot more tonal than I'm used to hearing from you. Maybe a few excursions to some more distant areas.
Well, thank you. Yes, this is quite a bit more inclined to tonal than most of my work. In this case, particularly the first movement. At each key change, there is also a change in modality, which achieved the effect I wanted.
The first movement was one of the most difficult compositions to finish. The basic idea was simple, and easy to write. But it required a long time and much work to make it sound as I wished. It was really more of a labor than anything else I have written. Perhaps in a year or two, I will return to it and find ways to improve it.
Initially, I did not want the second movement to be so tonal or conventional, but the music seemed to demand it, so there it is!
The third movement is amenable to much more development, but for this purpose, it is sufficient. But some day, it will grow much larger. It was the easiest and most fun to write.
Ooops, I just reread my post and see something that I worded poorly - when I said "Maybe a few excursions to some more distant areas" I meant it is mostly tonal though there are places that push the limits of tonality, not "it would be better if...". Sorry if there was misunderstanding.
Ron, it did seem to require some contrast, which I had hoped was sufficiently provided by the less intense second movement. Providing a more mellow contrast to some of the more vigorous movements is something I must work on, I think. Thanks for commenting.
Trent, I quite understood your original comments, and did not misinterpret your meaning-- maybe because I knew what I had put in the music!