Symphony No. 1

Daniel Asia

Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Symphony I is in five movements. The first and last, both at slow tempo, share the same materials. The first starts in D (also the point of departure of the tune) and comes to rest at its conclusion in a flat. The second adagio recycles material from the first, in a different ordering, and makes its way to the conclusion in d. The mood of these movements is rather laconic, and at moments of climax, majestic. The second and fourth movements are scherzos, in a somewhat uncharacteristic 6/16 time. There are two theme groups that form the core of these movements - a rapid figure of four sixteenth notes with the pitches F# and D, and another four note group, G, E-flat, B-flat, and A, in eighth notes. While the adagios are somewhat improvisatory in character and form, the scherzos are structurally very clear and simple. Yet they are of a decidedly intense and almost fierce character. Even in the more relaxed second theme area, there remains an underlying sense of tension. The third movement, an allegretto, serves the function of a trio movement. Its key (or note) center is somewhat vague intentionally, while its gestures are the most varied of any movement. Its ending leaves the argument unresolved, thus directly leading into the second scherzo.

Symphony I was written in London in 1987, and is based on the piano piece "Scherzo Sonata", written for the American pianist, Jonathan Shames, in the same year. This work was commissioned by the American Composers Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies, Music Advisor, and Principal Conductor; and the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz, Music Director. The assistance of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Fulbright Commission during the writing of this work is gratefully acknowledged.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, Music Director, and the American Composers Orchestra, Dennis Russell Davies, Music Director.
Composition Date 1987
Duration 00:24:00
Orchestration 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. 3Perc. Pno. Cel. Hp. Str.
Premiere February 19, 1990. Seattle Symphony, Christopher Kendall, conductor.

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