Two Steps Forward, One Step Back
If you listen to the oboe’s first four notes at the beginning of the Overture, you will hear the main theme of the entire opera: a simple four-note motif, two steps forward and one step back, which is the theme of the story as well. As with other music I admire, the main theme is developed throughout the work, not simply by moving it around (as happens in the oboe’s next 8 notes), but also by expanding the concept. Notice, for example, that when Will Solomon sings “higher, ever” at his entrance in track 4, that these four notes, and the next four notes, are examples of a wider concept—four notes with one change of direction.
It is only by changing direction, and never with a straight line, that I have ever found a path to success.