Symphony No. 2

George Rochberg

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

This work was composed between the winter of 1955 and the spring of 1956, although the ideas for it were sketched as early as 1952-54. There are four sections played without interruption and linked by brief interludes. The first, marked ?Declamando,? is a sonata-form structure while the second is a Scherzo with a contrasting Trio. In the third section, ?Molto Tranquillo,? chamber ensemble rather than the full orchestra predominates, the music speaking through solo instruments. The final section, returning to the use of orchestral forces, restates materials first heard in the opening section, the characteristic gestures of the music being freer, more fantasia-like than before.

Everything in the work is drawn from a single 12-tone row. The problem was to find a way to employ a total chromatic palette, melodic and harmonic, on a large scale true to what the term ?Symphony? has come to mean after Beethoven, without losing a sense of proportion, continuity, growth. The language is contemporary but the adherence to concepts of logic of musical discourse is traditional.

The emotional tone of the work is dark, intense. It ends on a note of resignation which, despite the generally assertive character of the music, seems quite appropriate.

Available on Rental

Scores & Parts

Symphony No. 2 - Full Score - Miniature

Additional Information

Composition Date 1955-1956
Duration 00:26:00
Orchestration 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Str.
Premiere February 26th, 1959. The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by George Szell.


Allegro scherzoso
Molto tranquillo
Tempo primo, ma incalzando

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