Symphony No. 4

George Rochberg

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Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview


George Rochberg?s Symphony No. 4, commissioned by the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra in celebration of the American Bicentennial and dedicated to its music director, Vilem Sokol, received its premiere performance in Seattle on November 15, 1976.

This symphony, scored for large orchestra, is in three movements:
I Adagio - andante con moto (ca. 23 minutes)
II Serenade/Scherzo (ca. 10 minutes)
III Introduction and Finale (ca. 15 minutes)

The first movement is absolutely tonal, its structure a loose sonata-form. The diatonic character of the adagio is played off against the more chromatic tendencies of the andante con moto producing a personal mix of classical and romantic attitudes.

While the second movement is based on a 12-tone row, its overall quality remains tonal. The more lyric, graceful and expressive ideas of the serenade alternate with the more acid-edged tough-fibered ideas of the scherzo.

The third movement begins with a romantic introduction which leads into a tightly knit classical sonata-form presto finale which is characterized chiefly by its exuberance, grace and strength.

This new symphony may be seen as another way of extending the ideas that have characterized Mr. Rochberg?s recent works (String Quartet No. 3, the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Phaedra - a monodrama for Soprano and Orchestra, and the Quintet for Piano and String Quartet) - that is, the imaginative use of a variety of approaches to tonality to produce in his own unique manner, works of stature and elegance with a strong formal structure that acknowledge our debts to the past yet sound entirely new.

The composer gratefully acknowledges Mrs. Louis Brechemin, the major benefactress of this commission, the Washington State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission and the Washington State Arts Commission for their assistance.

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Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by the Seattle Youth Orchestra
Composition Date 1976
Duration 00:48:00
Orchestration 3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Cel. Hp. Str.
Premiere Seattle Youth Orchestra, Vilem Sokol, conductor, November 15, 1976

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