If you have more than one player on a part they will self-organize to stagger their breaths. And no-one is going to die to make it without breathing. You don't have to necessarily provide a rest or a breath mark. Part of being a good musician is figuring out the best pieces to breathe to make individual phrases out of a piece of music. It's part of what makes music sound musical. Part of being a good director is over-ruling those decisions and suggesting other solutions if something is standing out of the overall mix, since they are sitting where they can hear the interplay of all parts more equally. I wouldn't stress over it too much.
Thanks Gylfi for your elaboration and for the time you took to go into what you meant in such great detail. I especially value your input as a viola player. I might not have taken the performer into adequate consideration in the bars that you mentioned, especially bar 41. I play a little violoncello and mentally imagine the fingerings to make sure they are not impossible to execute. So I can be pretty sure that whatever I compose for strings is possible to play. You might be right that as triplets (i.e. fast), the double stops in bar 41 are very difficult to execute. Yet, I think that virtuoso violists should be able to handle them. Even then, haven't you heard the quotation of Beethoven in response to the violinist Schuppanzigh's complaint about the difficulty of his part in one of Beethoven's quartets: "Do you think I worry about your lousy fiddle when the spirit moves me?" The same is the case with me when I am composing. Thinking about the performer and their instrument becomes secondary. What my inspiration and my ear dictate become paramount. You might say that Beethoven as a great composer is more entitled to take such liberties. You are right. However, in my case, the piece was not intended for anyone and will probably never be performed. So, I can be said to enjoy greater liberty and I might as well use it! That wouldn't be the case if I were to be collaborating with a performer on a commission or if I dedicated the piece to someone.
The question of whether composition is a vehicle for the performer to demonstrate their talent or ability, or whether performance is a service to the composition is I believe an important one. Both might be true to an extent. However, as far as I am concerned, the latter is the ultimate case. Performance is a service to compositions. And ultimately, the composer should not compromise on their inspiration thinking of the performer and their comfort. Some performers ask the composer to change certain passages to make them more "playable". As you know the great composers often refuse to do so. I have changed passages in response to a performer for whom I had intended pieces, but I did so as a high price to pay for getting my pieces performed at a concert. And I never changed only the passage in question but always the phrase. So if I were to change bar 41, I might have to change other bars before and after it. But I won't even think about it unless someone is asking me to do it as a condition for performing it. And I will keep the original version in case a future performer can handle it as it was originally written.
My first symphony, composed in 2006. It is in three-movement form. The opening movement has two characters, one sounding like awakening of nature and the other being powerful and drammatic. The second movement acts like an intermezzo and is followed by an expressive finale, which is the heart of the symphony, lasting 10 minutes. I have mixed feelings about this piece now - I am still proud of some sections and less proud of other. It is my first symphony though. :) It is orchestrated for large orchestra, with addition of alto flute, piccolo and multiple percussionists for special occasions. Comments welcome!
The opening is surprisingly "serious" considering the title. Even later, although showing some lighter-toned approach which I don't find really humorous in general, but more relaxing and joyful without any neccessity of being ironic, grotesque or malicious. The more proper title would probably be "Summer Music" or similar. :)
Throughout the piece you develop sort-of Shostakovich or Kalevi Aho style with a bit of polyphony of two different layers, one being for piano and one for orchestra. It is overtly enjoyable piece but the real climax is missing.