Lately, I have been doing a bit of "research" on Steve Bryant and John Mackey. ("Research" means hours on hours of listening to several pieces over and over again.) I am very impressed with their work.
Bryant brings to the table his incredible electronics, great emotional variety, and a great command of orchestration. Mackey brings an "outside-the-box" mentality, with great unusual colors, stunningly inventive orchestration, and melodies and harmonies of intense appeal.
How I can get any better without sounding like Bryant or Mackey, or Reed or McBeth or Persichetti, for that matter, is a mystery to me.
So I made it into UM. Which is great, but I can't pay for UM. So, if they give me scholarships, I'll go.
Sure would be amazing to study at the same school where Henry Fillmore, Alfred Reed, Gary Green, Robert Longfield, and so many others have been. (Or are!)
Mahler strikes again! Symphony no. 2 has devoured my listening time for the past months. The first movement strikes me as having the same effect as Beethoven 7.2, the unstoppable march of time and death. The minuet is another example of Mahler's (often unsung) grace and elegance, and the scherzo is a whirlwind of emotions. From this emerges an absolute gem: the fourth movement with soprano (mezzo soprano, whatever) solo. This piece is hear-wrenchingly beautiful. He succeeds in embodying absolutely sublime joy in the final movement, near the middle. The symphony should end like this, I thought when I listened to it the first time. It got better. Though not quite how I would orchestrate it, Mahler's touch is apparent to the very end.