Symphony No. 1, Op. 9

Lowell Liebermann

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

The Symphony Op.9 was begun in 1979 and completed in 1982. It was, in fact, my first work for orchestra; during its period of composition, several other pieces were written simultaneously.

The opening B-F tritone and its implied resolution to C-major provide the motivic and structural basis for the Symphony. The four movements share thematic and motivic material; the formal development of the work is to be seen as progressing through the entire Symphony rather than being contained within the individual movements.

The first movement, Andante, presents most of the thematic material used in the Symphony. The second movement, Allegro con fuoco, functions as a Scherzo. The third movement is a set of Passacaglia-variations on a 24-note theme. Each variation is transposed to the pitch level of each successive note of the theme; therefore the entire movement itself becomes in effect one large variation. This movement ends with a grotesquely huge tutti climax, after which the fourth movement, Largo e mesto, serves as a wistful epilogue, recalling thematic material from the previous movements.

The Symphony is dedicated with much affection and gratitude to David Diamond. It was the winning composition of the Juilliard Orchestral Competition and received its premiere at Alice Tully Hall with the Juilliard Symphony conducted by Paul Zukofsky. Its professional premiere occurred with the Seattle Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwarz.

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Additional Information

Composition Date 1979-82
Duration 00:45:00
Orchestration 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 2(Picc.Cl./B.Cl.)- 4 4 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
Premiere 19th February, 1988. Juilliard Orchestra, conducted by Paul Zukofsky, Alice Tully Hall, New York, NY.


I Andante
II Allegro con fuoco
III Lento con variazioni
IV Largo e mesto