SYMPHONY IN THREE MOVEMENTS

for Orchestra

Written: 2002
Duration: 19'
Instrumentation: orchestra (2 Flutes (Flute II doubling piccolo), 2 Oboes (Oboe II doubling English Horn), 2 Clarinets in B-flat (Clarinet I doubling Mouth Siren, Clarinet II doubling Police Whistle), Bassoon (doubling High Bulb Horn), 2 Horns in F (Horn I Low Bulb Horn), 2 Trumpets in C, Trombone, Timpani (4 Timpani, doubling, Medium Suspended Cymbal, Large Suspended Cymbal, Medium Triangle, Small Triangle, Ratchet, Snare Drum, Small Concert Bass Drum, Tubular Chimes (shared), Percussion (Large Concert Bass Drum, Large Tam Tam, Orchestra Bells, Xylophone, Vibraphone (motor off), Tambourine, Medium Triangle, Ride Cymbal, Medium Suspended Cymbal, Hi Hat, Low Cowbell (Latin), Medium Cowbell (Latin), Medium Slap Stick, Tubular Chimes (shared)
Note: the percussionist should supply the additional instruments needed by the Clarinets, Bassoon and Horn I players. The percussion parts played by the timpanist may be played by a second percussionist.
Commissioned by Maestro Kimbo Ishii-Eto and the PremiereCayuga Chamber Orchestra 25th Anniversary Concert, Kimbo Ishii-Eto, conductor, Ithaca College James J. Whalen School of MusicFord Hall, Ithaca, NY, May 5, 2002.
PublisherBill Holab Music

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Program Note

The first movement, Bright and jubilant, is generally cheerful and upbeat, but occasional clouds of gray cast shadows over the musical surface. I associate this movement with traveling to a lover, and particularly over great distances. The brightness of this movement also subtly reflects the "silver anniversary" occasion for which this work was originally commissioned.

The slow second movement, Serenade, represents the unique intimacy that lovers share. Most string players in a chamber orchestra—even the first stands—never have a chance to play exposed material. This is interesting because although the string sections most often play as homogenous groups, the first stands of the string section are in an arc have an intimate view of each other. In this movement, the first stands of the violins, violas and cellos all have solo material whereas the rest of the strings often play gentle, long trills. My goal in to give all of the string players in the first stands an opportunity to shine.

The third movement, entitled Dancing games, is the most energetic of the three. It is has quirky, dance-like rhythms and a strong sense of pulse. In this movement, I imagine two lovers engaging in a bickering, yet friendly verbal dance match, their playful sentences bantered and volleyed back and forth like some sort of demented game of badminton in fast-forward mode. I suppose this would mean that the kind of dance I am imagining here is not one that you would necessarily move your feet to, but one meant for listening and that makes your insides want to move and shake.

The audience just roared. Never has a new work been given such an ecstatic reception. Robert Paterson is a highly gifted composer, and a few years will no doubt suffice to establish him as one of the major contenders in American music.
— Mark G. Simon, Ithaca Times
You are a terrific composer! The Symphony in Three Movements is dazzlingly colorful. I loved it! Bravo!
— David Del Tredici Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Music, Member American Academy of Arts and Letters