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The Farewell

for orchestra

Year:  2004 Instrumentation:  3*3*3*3*; 4331; timp.; 3 perc.; pno, hp; strings | (Perc: bass drum, crash cymbals, susp. cymbals, tam-tam, snare drum, triangle, tub. bells, vibraphone)

Year:  2004
Instrumentation  3*3*3*3*; 4331; timp.; 3 pe...

Composer:   Anthony Young

Films, Audio & Samples

Performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Hamish McKeich on 2 May 2007

Anthony Young: The Farewell...

Embedded audio
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Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra c.Miguel Harth-Bedoya, 2004.

Anthony Young: The Farewell...

Embedded audio
See details ➔


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I often use programmatic subjects in writing music, and when I began thinking about what this piece would be, one subject kept returning to me: the idea of saying goodbye to many things throughout our lives. All through our lives we see things disappear that are important to us. What I had specifically in mind, rather than the loss of loved ones, was the dwindling of ways of life. The fading of traditions, old practices, environments both natural and man-made, handed-down knowledge, and so on. Things we cherish and hold sacred from our childhood become relegated to history, and then forgotten on a regular basis. And the farewell to all that was what the piece was originally to be about. However in November 2003, a long-time friend died suddenly, and my thoughts were turned to my farewell to him. But I did not want to make this a requiem or an elegy. It needed to have at least some glimpse of the energy and audacity with which he lived. I have sought to bring together both the original subject, and the new. I've explored themes of resignation and resistance, reminiscence and grief, and final farewells.

Commissioned note

Written as part of APO Composer Residency

Performance history

01 May 2007: 2007 NZSO-SOUNZ Readings 1

Performed by the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra cond. Miguel Harth-Bedoya; Auckland Town Hall