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Topic: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

  1. #1

    Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    I have been "away" for the last 6 months or so, working on finally completing my "Sinfonia Canadensis" (Symphony no.2) opus 36.

    It has been a long and arduous process. I had very very specific images for each movement, and I was simply blocking at setting them down in more detail than the outlines I already had.

    Having my trombone concerto premiered last year (and a repeat in Seattle next September) seems to have "unblocked" me. I spent a great deal of time working with that conductor, and we spent many long hours in discussion of all things musical.

    I am posting the movements sort of in reverse order, the two final movements first, as I have already posted the three earlier movements before.

    Quick description of the two final movements which were completed recently:

    IV - Pacific Interlude (Mist and Mountains)
    Pacific rain forests, green, dark, moist and full of life, your eyes pan upward and the vistas of the Canadian Rockies open to you. Snow-capped mountains, massive and majestic, extending as far as the eye can see, a north-south barrier before we reach the pacific ocean, which fades off into the west.

    V - Northern Variations
    Theme, Variation I (Tundra - craggy, harsh, dissonant), Variation II (Little Paws - scurrying, multiplying, life that defies all odds), Variation III (The Great Whale - breaches the water's surface, life-bringer of the Innu), Variation IV (Inuksuk - Man, alone in the vast whiteness of the Far North, settlements separated by floes of ice), Variation V (The North Wind - harsh, dissonant, a blast of destruction, it swirls all around, sometimes growling, sometimes softly whispering), Variation VI (Sunrise / Spring - beginning softly, Winter breaks, life quietly returns, and the sun breaks the horizon, and rises after months of darkness).

    There is a lot of musical symbolism in this symphony. Some themes have specific meanings to me, and thus return at certain moments to highlight "events" in the music (for example, there are two main themes which return in varied form: "Man", and "Nature". Both are stated clearly as the main musical material of the 1st movement. But then they return in various forms in the subsequent movements, notably, the "Man" and "Nature" themes form the basis of much of the material of the finale).

    The three previous movements are:

    Forêts boréales / Northern Forests

    Prairies (Dawn, the harvesters, sunset)

    Maritimes (Waves and shoreline)

  2. #2

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    I admire the fact that you took on the courage to compose and finish a symphony. In all of art, a symphony has become a status of a juggernaut, and to take on that journey is a feat within itself.

  3. #3

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    Well, thank-you.
    This is in fact my 2nd symphony.
    And the third, which was recently commissioned, is on the drawing board as we speak.

    I actually got tired of writing chamber music. LOL

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Wilton, NH

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    I'm not going to have time to listen to this for a few weeks but the little bit I was able to listen to (first half of IV in one sitting and first half of I in another) I really liked what I heard. Can't wait to be able to listen to all of it.
    Trent P. McDonald

  5. #5

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    thank-you Trent.
    I understand that this is a rather lengthy work, so actually listening to the whole thing is quite an investment.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sd cisco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Southern Ontario, Canada

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    Well worth the wait, I say!
    You manage to wring a lot of power from the orchestra, 3/4 of the way thru the 4th, with the Brass and the impulsive and deliberate melody, made me think of Mars, by Holst, but in a good way! Great orchestral textures in the 5th movement too. I am glad you shared this, good to hear your ideas played out by a whole orchestra, and good to hear your efforts to evoke the great Canadian North! It is a worthy subject. Congratulations!

  7. #7

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    thanks SD

    I'm in the process of trying to sell it for the 2016-2017 concert season.

    I have a few contacts with various orchestras, like the Edmonton Symphony.

  8. #8

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    Impressive, I love the IVth movement. Very serene, with a strong sense of the majesty you're conveying. I am reminded (only reminded) of La Mer and the surging power of the sea Debussy captured. Here you have definitely captured the majesty of the vista of the western Canadian Rockies. Well done.

    We dream to write and we write to dream.

    Challenge #10 Winner

  9. #9

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.

    thank-you very much Bill.
    It is always difficult to convey a personal vision of something through such an abstract medium as music.

    I'm happy that you appear to have felt exactly what it was I wanted to convey.

  10. #10

    Re: Completed 2nd Symphony, after 6 long years.


    I have this evening with greatest delight and admiration
    enjoyed listening to your Sinfonia Canadensis in its entirety.

    Bravo, my friend. Bravo!

    With all my best,

    David Sosnowski

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