Symphony No. 1

Larry Alan Smith

Rental
Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

An orchestra?s fiscal problems can not only injure the ensemble, but it can also bring a new symphonic work to an abrupt halt. In 1980, I began my Symphony No. 1 for conductor Thomas Michalak and a Kansas City Philharmonic premiere, but the orchestra?s financial crisis developed, and my symphony became one of the many casualties.
For two years I continued to look at the sketches, but only the first movement was totally prepared. It was Harold Farberman?s enthusiasm for the first movement and my selection by the Conductors? Guild for the composer-conductor team program which inspired the completion of this much pondered work.

The three-movement symphony, which lasts nearly half an hour, is built of three basic ideas. There are two melodic ideas: a twelve-note row and a freely chromatic twelve-note theme. These are used extensively with numerous variants. In addition, a short rhythmic motive serves as the third basic element in the piece.

Inspired by classical forms, the construction of the work utilized the telescoping of sections. This is an inner-structural concept which I have been expanding over the past few years. There are sections within sections within sections.

My intention, and one of the work?s most important compositional challenges, was to write a piece which has a ?fantasia? nature in the midst of such strict formal designs. The sonata form first movement, the song form second movement, and the quasi-isorhythmic finale provide the necessary confinement for creative freedom.
Symphony No. 1 is scored for 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, 4 percussionists, and strings. The work is dedicated to the memory of my mother. It was premiered in 1983 by the West Virginia-Community Symphony Orchestra with Alfred Savia conducting.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Kansas City Philharmonic
Composition Date 1980-83
Duration 00:29:00
Orchestration 2 2 2(B.Cl.) 2 - 4 3 3 0; Timp. 3Perc. Str.
Premiere 1983. West Virginia University-Community Symphony Orchestra, Alfred Savia, conductor.