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Symphony No. 3

for orchestra with accordion

Year:  2008   ·  Duration:  40m
Instrumentation:  3*3*3*3*; 4331; timp., 3 perc.; pno, accordion, cel., hp; strings | (Perc: tub. bells, snare drum, bass drum, cymbals, tambourine, 3 tom-toms, glock., xylo., triangle)

Year:  2008
Duration:  40m
Instrumentation  3*3*3*3*; 4331; timp., 3 pe...

Ross Harris

Composer:   Ross Harris

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Sample Score

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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.

Commissioned note

Written as part of Creative New Zealand/ Jack C. Richards Composer Residency at the New Zealand School of Music 2007-2008

Dedication note

Dedicated to Antony Ernst and Eva Rawnsley

Contents note

One movement

Performance history