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Symphony No. 2

for orchestra

Year:  1993   ·  Duration:  40m
Instrumentation:  2*2*12* + soprano and bass saxophone; 2121; timp., percussion; hp; strings

Year:  1993
Duration:  40m
Instrumentation  2*2*12* + soprano and bass ...

Denis Betro

Composer:   Denis Betro


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After the premiere of my first symphony I was asked to write a new one with more exuberance. I accepted the challenge. The work proceeded quickly and I found that I was expressing exciting rhythms and dynamics which had always been a part of the inner me.

One day I heard a wind band in the English seaside town of Brighton. One of the musicians was playing a bass saxophone. I fell in love with its chunky staccato bass line and incorporated it in the orchestration of the symphony.

In the final fourth movement there is a place where I required a loud bang. After trying a few percussion instruments I settled on scoring for a pistol. Absolutely nothing else but a pistol shot was suitable at that point.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by Orchestra of the 20th Century

Contents note

Allegro ma non troppo

Performance history

10 Nov 1995: Performed by the Orchestra of the 20th Century at Usher Hall, Edinburgh