Symphony No. 2

Jay Reise

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Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

In the last quarter of the 20th century and the first quarter of the 21st century, we find ourselves in a world on the brink of both great achievement and great destruction. In my Second Symphony, I tried to capture the spirit of these extremes by combining the searing gestures of post-Webern serialism with the expressive lyricism of tonality.
The Symphony is in two movements, "Prelude" and "Aria". The Prelude is in a short sonata form and begins with a muted brass chorale introduction marked ?Adagio lontano? (i.e. slow and distant). This is followed by the first theme (?Frenetico?) which is in the key of B major. A short development and the usual recapitulation and coda follow. The movement closes quietly but somewhat tentatively. The Aria begins with a singing theme (played by oboe accompanied by cellos) and several variations. This is done in the manner of a traditional symphonic slow movement. The elaborations in the variations gradually overwhelm the song, and the rest of the movement depicts the struggle as the aria endeavors to reassert itself.

Symphony No. 2 is dedicated to Christopher Keene and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and was written under a grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation with additional funding from Hamilton College

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Additional Information

Commission Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, with a grant from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation
Composition Date 1980
Duration 00:22:00
Orchestration 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 4(EbCl./B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) - 6 6 3 1; Timp. 5Perc. Str.
Premiere 1980. Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Christopher Keene, conductor; Crouse-Hinds Concert Hall, Syracuse, NY.