Symphony No. 8

Elie Siegmeister

Publisher: Carl Fischer Music
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

It is similar, I think, in having my own musical language...I won't try to tell what that is, the music should say it. One signature, however, is opening with a long, pure melodic line in a single instrument. In the Fourth, solo cello, the Sixth, solo trumpet, the Seventh, solo clarinet, here, solo viola. The instrument starts all alone, playing the opening melody for 16 bars before the other instruments join, by ones and twos, in the strain. It is similar to some of the preceeding symphonies in the sharp dramatic contrast of thought and moods, as well.. , the alternation of lyricism, tenderness, and simplicity and a harsh, disturbing complexity is a common trait.

Despite the modern, contemporary sound of this work, I remain a classical composer deeply attached to the basic forms found in Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok, and Shostakovich,..In most preceeding symphonies, the progression has been from darkness into light, with the last movement a victory celebration. In my Eighth, conflict appears in the first movement, eases off into a light, even joyous mood in the second, but in the third the harsh oppositions return, leading to the peak of the struggle." In structure, the first movement is in sonata form, while the second is a scherzo and trio, "But the last movement? Who knows? Maybe a kaleidoscope, perhaps a free fantasy. Having labored on it for, months and months (which proves nothing) I believe there is form in this movement too, and perhaps after more than one hearing will assert itself to the listener.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and from the National Endowment for the Arts
Duration 00:23:00
Orchestration 3(dbl. Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(Cl.1 dbl.Eb Cl. / Cl.3 dbl.B.Cl.) 3(dbl.Cbsn.) - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.
Premiere December 8-9, 1989. Troy Savings Bank Music Hall/ Merrill Lynch Palace Classics Palace Theatre