Symphony No. 1


George Rochberg

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

This Symphony was written between the years 1948-49, was later revised, and then completed in 1977. At the time, Rochberg wrote that he drew heavy influences from Stravinsky, Bartok, Berg, and Schoenberg. Although the piece utilizes elements of chromaticism and the 12-tone row, Rochberg stated that the ?work is grounded in a strong tonal feeling . . . There is no program in the usual sense, but an emotional life expressed in and through the music whose character is undeniably affirmative. I remember quite distinctly being moved by the desire to produce a work whose structure and manner of projection would convey intense energy, not physical energy alone but the kind of which William Blake has said ?Energy is Eternal Delight.? ?

Looking back on the work, Rochberg reflects on this composition with respect to his life at the time. ?It is not what I would write now, but it is what I wrote when I was 30 years old. It is an act of youth, full of conviction and assertive belief: I believe in what it is musically and emotionally. I still like its raw power and dark passion, its rhythmic force and its cutting edge, its tender moments and reflective qualities. I can say this because it is ? and has been for a long time ? completely outside of me and I can look at it that way.?

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Composition Date 1948-1949, rev. 1977
Duration 00:50:00
Orchestration 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
Premiere March 28th, 1958. Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Ormandy, Academy of Music, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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