Almost as good as hitting the double bar on the full score of the new cello concerto, And Seeing the Multitudes, is to hit the double bar on the last part to be extracted. They’re all finished now and off to the orchestra librarian. As if composing isn’t obsessive enough, copying parts is a preciously inner delight. Of course, the software “makes” the parts automatically, even as you construct the score, but the parts are never good. They’re quite awful, actually, out of the box, so there’s a good bit of manual labor needed to get them into shape.

Which I love doing, ever since I did this, with ink and paper, when I started at the Fleisher Collection. People who do this for a living—engravers—have my unfettered respect. Figuring out page turns, cues, overall spacing, whether to place phrases on one stave or where to split them… goosebumps, I’m telling you. And did I love putting the music for all three percussionists into one part, or what?

Now, okay, now I can get the Christmas tree.

Cellist Ovidiu Marinescu performs this with the Helena Symphony, conducted by Allan R. Scott, on January 31st. And Seeing the Multitudes is based on the Beatitudes, is for full orchestra, is in one movement, and is 20 minutes long. More information about it is here.