Not to be trusted January 5, 2018 Dale Keiger John Adams, in his memoir Hallelujah Junction: For me the most difficult moment is always the beginning of a new piece. Even if I’m lucky enough to have come up with a striking opening idea, the first attempts at developing the material and making coherence often sputter and implode. I like to think that this is because I’ve yet to identify the pieces DNA, that I’m still unaware of what’s buried within its strands of information. Often the ‘code’ of a movement, if not an entire symphony or opera, is encapsulated within the first page or two, albeit in fractal form. Beethoven and Wagner packed an abundance of information in their opening motifs and harmonies, investing them with exceptional potential to generate large and complex expressive structures. But who know how much effort it cost them to fully realize the potential of what their first ideas contained? Who knows for sure whether, after the full work was completed, the composer didn’t revisit the opening and tweak it to more perfectly mirror the course of later events? One should suspect writers of similar behavior. We're a sneaky lot.