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Three Celebrations for Orchestra

for orchestra

Year:  1986   ·  Duration:  17m
Instrumentation:  3*3*3*3* + alto sax; 4431; timp., 3 perc; hp, pno/cel; strings | (Perc: mar., glock., 5 t. blocks, tamb., 2 tri., xylo., susp. cymbal, 3 wood-blocks, 2 pair cymbals, bass drum, bongos, kit)

Year:  1986
Duration:  17m
Instrumentation  3*3*3*3* + alto sax; 4431; ...

Composer:   Jenny McLeod

Films, Audio & Samples

Jenny McLeod: Three Celebra...

Embedded video
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Sample Score

Sample: First 2 pages from each movement

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This is the largest orchestra I have written for, and after writing film music for some years for small and medium-sized orchestras, I decided that a full symphony orchestra ought to sound like one. Such have been the straits of twentieth century music that I still feel sometimes I should apologise for writing clear-cut positive melodies, harmonies and rhythms - though by nature I'm not a gloomy person, and this is what comes naturally. (I do not think the negative aspects of life are improved by dwelling on them endlessly).

So in these three pieces the average listener will find little to upset him. The three movements all bear some resemblance to my film music, in fact. Themes are evocative and tend to be writ large; the scoring and the ideas are generous, broad and simple, though the layering and interweaving of parts is not quite so simple. I feel that every instrumental part should have its own life of character, and part of the joy of 'arranging' - that art so habitually and mistakenly looked down upon as 'inferior', but which in my experience constitutes a large part of the work of composing - is the rhythmic interplay of the various individual characters, or instrumental voices.

The three movements are simply what their titles suggest. I cannot disassociate them from images built up since childhood. I hope they communicate something of my great affection for this country.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra for its 40th anniversary

Contents note

1. Journey through Mountain Parklands
2. At the Bay
3. A & P Fair

Performance history

28 Jul 2010: Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with conductor Uwe Grodd at the Michael Fowler Centre, in Wellington

24 Jun 2023: Kaleidoscope | Youth Orchestra Waikato

10 Dec 2023: CELEBRATE THE SEASON | Youth Orchestra Waikato

12 May 2024: Symphony At the Movies | TWSO & Hamilton City Pops Orchestra

Premiered by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra with conductor Janos Furst in Dunedin Town Hall, in July 1983

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