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  • for full orchestra including accordion
  • By:
40' 00" (can vary)
One movement


application/pdf,182k Score (182k) pages 1-8© Ross Harris

Programme Note

The initial musical thoughts for Symphony No. 3 came from two related sources of inspiration – the paintings of Marc Chagall and Klezmer music. I had been playing accordion in a klezmer band in Wellington for a year or so before starting the work. I was intrigued by the genre and began writing klezmer influenced tunes for the band to play.

The simple klezmer tunes are woven into the piece in different ways. Some of them are treated as symphonic themes that are developed and transformed while others are quoted as melodies from popular music. There are passing references to dances, marches, and the use of solo violin and the novel appearance of accordion make reference to folk-like musical ideas inspired by klezmer.

Symphony No. 3 is in one movement divided into five sections generally alternating between slow and fast music. Sometimes the music is very transparent and simple at other times dense web-like textures emerge.

Symphony No. 3 can be heard as a unfolding journey, following paths whose destination is uncertain or unknown. It might almost be thought of as a saga, a story which is sometimes mysterious, sometimes funny, sometimes tragic but, I hope, always stimulating to the listener’s imagination.

Ross Harris

Written as part of Creative New Zealand/ Jack C. Richards Composer Residency at the New Zealand School of Music 2007-2008
Dedicated to Antony Ernst and Eva Rawnsley

Performance History

World Premiere for P: Symphony No. 3; APO; 140808 14 Aug 2008 Performed by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Marko Letonja



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