Here is a rather major re-working of my "Symphony in C" (Symphony no.1).
I added a great deal of percussion (the GPO percussion needs a larger set of woodblocks hint, hint). I also have a computer that can handle Finale's performance requirements for this piece now.
dedicated as follows:
In loving memory of my father
With special thanks to Tyler Turner and Robert Piéchaud
for their invaluable assistance during the preparation of this score
4 movements, played without pause (except on the MP3 files, of course, where there's as long a pause as you want between movements)
The entire symphony builds on the long opening viola theme.
I know some people have heard this piece before. I wasn't sure if Gary got around to it. I know it's long, so it's an investment.
If you like slow movements that become fast, the 1st movement should be your thing.
If you like them rambunctious scherzos, then the second movement should do it.. though it starts with a rather lengthy flute cadenza (which is the transition between the 1st and 2nd movements).
If you are into sad, slow movements, then the 3rd movement will be "it".
And if you're into heavy, heavy contrapuntal, fugal writing, well, you'll have to listen to the 3rd movement before you get to the Ricercare final movement. It's basically a rondo, where the head of the main theme of the symphony functions as a ritornello, treated fugally every time (first one an outright fugal exposition witht eh orcehstral tutti, second time a double fugue - fast pizz fugue against quadruple-time repetition in the brass, and the final ritornello is a simple 2-parter against a slow pulsing strting accompaniment).
Each "verse" of the rondo is itself fugal in nature, and functions as a sort of recap of the thematic (mood) material of the preceding movements.
The whole thing ends on a grand choral of the second theme, which is less used in the symphony.
I know it's quite the investment in time, considering the length and all.
Right now the score is sitting on the desk of the conductor of the Montreal Symphony.. at least I HOPE it is! Whether he's going to actually LOOK at it is a completely different question!
I'm bringing the score to Montreal's "second" orchestra this week. It's a quite good orchestra, although without the reputation... nor the money... nor the audience... come to think of it.... maybe I'll just keep the score at home.
I'm very proud of this symphony.
it's my first major work after receiving my master's degree in composition.
I'm currently working on my 2nd symphony, which is actually a more "populist" piece of music.
A few months ago I had the great pleasure of hearing my Cello Sonata performed and recorded for CD. The same concert and CD as two works by our very own professor Alan Belkin here on the forum, author of the upcoming "Common Problems in Orchestration" course that continues the Rimsky Korsakov course, and a wonderful teacher.
This is a wonderful work and as I said before, you have a strong feeling for sophisticated and colorful harmonies " à la Roy Harris" and the sense of form owes to Sibelius.
As a first symphony this work is really an achievement and I will be among the first to buy the CD when it will be recorded.
Your right about the 3rd movement. It is sad, but I thought the 1st movement was also sad, but not as much as the 3rd movement. Very enjoyable to listen to. I sure hope the montreal symphony picks up on your piece. It really is wonderful and full of drama.
The first movement I guess one could say has a certain sadness to it.
I sort of think of the whole symphony as a "stages of grief" development.
The first movement mixes a bit of sadness, with some anger. However, there's also a sort of "initial shock" feeling, as well.
The second movement scherzo is a bit of "forced happiness". It has a lot of bitterness and sarcasm, mixed in with a sort of superficial "joy".
The third movement is, to my eyes, the "heart" of the symphony - my love letter to my father. I never really got to tell him how much I loved him. I know he knew, but I still wish I had expressed it more clearly. It's also the most direct outpouring of grief.
The finale goes through all of those emotions a second time, but distanced a bit and now getting "beyond" the grief. There are happy souvenirs in the finale, inevitable pangs of sadness, and a final uncontrolled outpouring of love in that final choral.
Since studying with Alan Belkin, I've gained a great deal of control over my compositional tools, and I finally have the controlled ability to express the emotions and impressions I've always wanted to. There's no denying that technical tools DO help with the "artistic" side of creation.