Symphony No.1

on a purpose-selected tone row


(1) Alla breve con moto (2) Scherzo (3) Adagio molto (4) Finale. Prestissimo

Date Duration Listen
21 October 2012 32'49" Realization (.MP3) Score (.PDF)
45.0 MB 1.53 MB

Anyone who could have read my mind would have known - upon learning last July's Sinfonia Concertante grew from the failed draft of a symphony proper - that my first (and perhaps only) symphony would subsequently be published under the opus number: 33. My lifelong respect and admiration for Papa Haydn's Opus 33 quartets, after all, demand, at the very least, that nothing but a major work should be assigned that number. And even though I'm clearly not offering a transcendent and immortal masterpiece to the ages with this work, it should easily be admissible that any kind of a symphony qualifies as a major work.

Sure, it's no world-storming Mahlerian Prometheus, no epic paean to the Battle of Leningrad by a Shostakovich, no extended and solemn Brucknerian introduction to the outer precincts of Heaven. It's more of a slender little piece on a strictly Classical model: formally more like an unpretentious symphony by Rimsky-Korsakov than anyone else, perhaps. It is, however, definitely written for a very large ensemble: precisely what the template-builders at Sibelius 6.0 refer to as a "Modern Orchestra" - with far too many multiple choirs of clarinets and other woodwinds, a complete double quartet of horn choirs, and etc., and etc., and etc.

Therein lies the rub and the principal reason I am quick to call this my "perhaps only" symphony: because whiny yours truly is fatigued to the bone by five weeks of continual eye-straining, knuckle-busting, and brain-slapping labor across 35 staves, many of which were designed to contain two or three voices apiece. And pretty much all that completely independent of whatever creative effort was required to invent the music itself. There is a reason why, if you stay and watch the credits rolling by on a big blockbuster Hollywood movie with a lush orchestral background, you may easily find eight or a dozen individuals listed there as "orchestrators." Because the mere act of writing down all the little notes and other scribbles necessary to define and sustain an ongoing symphonic atmosphere is demonically exacting, and yet tedious, labor.

OK, enough whining for the nonce. My first and/or only symphony can be accessed from this page above. Make of it what you will.

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