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Symphony No 2 “The Feeling of Sound” was commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and completed in 1989. It is a continuous work lasting about twenty-five minutes.
Structurally the work reveals a division into two around a central timpani solo. However a tripartite form may also be felt in which two active outer movements flank a delicate concertante-like middle section.
In the opening, boisterous woodwind passages provide contrast and perspective to the soft, gossamer-like threads of sounds which tend to dominate the first half of the work. Melodies are frequently short and are often combined together in several kaleidoscopic passages.
The inspiration for the work comes from two main sources. The first, is a reaction against the loud, slow seemingly programmatic style that I have heard in some recent orchestral pieces. The second is to be found in the extreme beauty of local environmental sounds - whether those of the forest of those heard on lakes, rivers and islands.
The title focuses our listening towards the absolute, feelingful qualities of music which has overtones of natural sounds. In such a context, the art of music is able to be portrayed in its most potent form.
Symphony No 2 “The Feeling of Sound” was first performed on June 1, 1989 by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Donald Johanos. The work is recorded on ODE MANU 1412 by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by John Hopkins.
Commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra
Poem: Charles Brasch
01 Jun 1989: Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia, conductor Donald Johanos
Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by John Hopkins