Problems with Milky Way (Day 120/365)

I’m having real problems with mm. 76-80 of Milky Way, the rat’s sullen complaint and prediction, “What’s gathered by fools in heaven will never endure.”

I want it to sound low and sullen so that the final quatrain sounds elated, but it just sounds gawky and unpleasant. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that my orchestration style in this piece can only be described as “pointillistic” or “mosaic-like,” i.e., instruments enter willy-nilly to provide color and then just as suddenly drop out again. But this passage just sounds clumsy.

I thought about taking the low strings and making them pizzicato, but I’m not sure that cellos can actually pluck that kind of sequence, quickly arpeggiated sixteenth notes. Perhaps they could divide them up?

Part of the problem also is that I’ve scored it in patches, so that there’s truly not a smooth transition from one measure to the next, and whole voices just disappear.

It’s all a matter of balance, I suppose, and finding the will to tinker with it. I’m so close to the end!!

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