Your cart

Total
NZD
Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.

Blue Work


Symphony No. 1 - 'Boum'

for full orchestra

Year:  1993   ·  Duration:  32m
Instrumentation:  (1)222(1)alto sax2; 4231; perc; timp; strings

Year:  1993
Duration:  32m
Instrumentation  (1)222(1)alto sax2; 4231; p...

Composer:   Anthony Ritchie

Films, Audio & Samples

Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Young on 3 September 1998

Anthony Ritchie: Symphony n...

Embedded audio
See details ➔
Sample Audio

Sample: 0:00-1:00, movement 2

See details ➔
Sample Score

Sample: Page 65

See details ➔

Borrow/Hire:

To borrow or hire parts please email SOUNZ directly at info@sounz.org.nz. Please note that only library members in New Zealand and Australia can borrow or hire parts.

About

Programme note

The title of this symphony comes from the ominous tam tam stroke that opens the first movement, a mysterious sound heard by two of E M Forster's characters in A Passage to India when they investigate the Marabar Caves. This is a sound which symbolises the mysteries of life and death, although Ritchie warns us not to take it all too literally. "The echo is only a starting point to a general theme of human struggle. The listener can interpret the music in his or her own way."

The first movement opens sonorously in the tonality of G, pulsating chords leading us inevitably to the first main theme, a theme that Ritchie himself characterises as a "muscular, Brucknerian theme", although the momentum that it engages owes more to Shostakovich. A sinuous saxophone theme is very significant in the central section, as is the lengthy oboe theme in the moderato section. The second movement opens with the sharp, bright sounds of oboes and clarinets accompanied by Cook Islands log drums. The log drum punctuates the movement's textures and creates a sense of propulsion. A light-hearted dance introduced by string quartet offers an opportunity for a change of mood. The third movement is a lament for the victims of the Bosnian wars.

The highly evocative scoring of the opening pages was inpsired by the wailing of a Maori karanga, while tolling bells imbue this elegy with a special sense of tragedy. The symphony ends with a 'grand dance' which shows Ritchie has not been untouched by rock music. Several themes are brought together in an ecstatic coda, after which the music slowly unwinds over a reiterated pedal note. The opening of the first movement returns, and the final sound we hear is a single stroke on the tam tam.

Symphony No.1 'Boum' was completed while Ritchie was Composer-in-residence with the Dunedin Sinfonia in 1993, and first performed the following year, under the baton of Sir William Southgate. It has received numerous performances, and was recorded for radio by the NZSO, in 1998, Auckland Philharmonia in 1996, Dunedin Sinfonia in 1994.

+ Read More

Commissioned note

Written for the Dunedin Sinfonia (now the Southern Sinfonia) as part of the 1993 Composer Residency

Southern Sinfonia


Performance history

04 Sep 1998: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kenneth Young

14 Mar 2009: Ritchie Symphony No. 1

16 Apr 2010: Performed by the New Zealand Secondary School Orchestra, conducted by Dave Gallagher at the Aurora Performing Arts Centre, Burnside High School, in Christchurch

P: Symphony "Boum"; Dunedin Sinf c. Southgate 94

Performed by the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei in 2006

+ Read More