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Symphony in Five Movements

for orchestra

Year:  1996   ·  Duration:  24m
Instrumentation:  3*2*2*2*; 4230; timp., 3perc.; hp; strings | (Perc: sn.dr, tom-toms, bs.dr, triangle, susp. cymbal, bell tree, Chinese cymbal, cymbals, tam-tam, castanets, maracas, glock., xylo., tub. bells)

Year:  1996
Duration:  24m
Instrumentation  3*2*2*2*; 4230; timp., 3pe...

Nigel Keay

Composer:   Nigel Keay

Films, Audio & Samples

Nigel Keay: Symphony in Fiv...

Embedded audio
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Sample Score

Sample: First page of each movement

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A central idea to 'Symphony in Five Movements' concerns aspects of timing. Its form was partially inspired by the martial arts treatise 'Go Rin No Sho' (A Book of Five Rings), which considers timing and its relationship to strategy. The five books are: Ground, Water, Fire, Wind & Void. There is a loose correspondence between the inspiration behind some of the movements and each of the 'books.' Thus, the third movement refers to the book of tradition 'wind' and consequently, is modelled on a scherzo, not only paying tribute to Beethoven, but in a broader sense indicating the desire to give the entire work a historical reference. The Introduction or first movement is analogous to the 'ground' book (the path), outlining the Symphony's musical ideas. The fifth movement ('void') has a strongly rhythmic structure with contemporary influence throughout, reflected in, and overlayed with its violin-based lyrical stream. This strongly linear work was described by Denys Trussell in a subsequent review for 'Quote Unquote' after its Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra performance in 1996 as being "rich with feeling and atmosphere." The fourth and fifith movements were given a reading by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hamish McKeich at the NZSO - SOUNZ Readings in October 2001 in Wellington.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra as part of its Composer-in-Residence programme

Contents note

  1. Introduction - Moderato; 2. crotchet = 66; 3. Vivace; 4. Adagio; 5. Finale-Allegro

Performance history

01 Aug 1996: Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Enrique Diemecke on 1 August 1996 concert at the Aotea Centre, Auckland as part of a Main Series programme

02 Oct 2001: Performed in a rehearsed reading by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hamish McKeich as part of the NZSO-SOUNZ Readings

Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Edvard Tchivzel

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