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Me, My Compositions, My Libretti and My Life, by ComposerOfAvantGarde

A Thematic Catalogue of My Works

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by , Dec-21-2011 at 02:12 (848 Views)
I have decided to gradually put up a thematic catalogue of my compositions on my blog on TC. I'll start off with my symphonies.

My symphonic cycle (for want of a better word. It is hardly a real cycle) includes seven symphonies so far. Five of which are completed, one in sketch form and one has all the music written but just needs to be arranged into movements. I hate the first four immensely.

"Pre-avant-garde" period. (2007-2009)

Symphony no. 1 in (mainly) A minor. November 2007 to December 2008.
Approx. duration: 22'
Instrumentation: Mahlerian sized orchestra. I can't be stuffed listing the instruments.
Description: This was the second piece if music I ever completed in my life. From feeling the success of completing my (now very silly) first composition, I decided to move on to a more "proper classical" form: a symphony. I was very ambitious with this one and included as many instruments I could think of including organ, celesta, piano, guitars, euphoniums harps and so on. In the original fourth movement I even included a choir and soloists singing to the music I had set to Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind." I scrapped that idea and wrote a short rondo instead. The finished work is in four movements:
I: Andante-Allegro-Presto. This movement starts off in A minor before modulating to D major (strangely enough) for the Allegro and Presto sections.
II: Grave. This seven minute long monotonous movement in C minor is noted for including Wagner tubas.
III: Minuet, Allegretto. This is probably the only movement that makes any sense at all. It uses the proper minuet and trio form (the minuet is in G major, trio in G minor) and doesn't use any radical instrumentation.
IV: Rondo, Allegro. Back in A minor. The recurring A section is mainly canonic.

Symphony no. 2 in C major "Miniature." July or August 2008.
Approx. duration: 6'-7'
Instrumentation: some kind of keyboard instrument, guitars and strings (violins I,II,III cello.)
Description: This is my least favourite of all of my symphonies. Clocking at about the same time it takes for someone to go to sleep it is in fact my second shortest symphony, but written for the smallest forces. I wrote it in three days, one day per movement.
I: Allegro Moderato. This movement is quite stately and very boring.
II: Adagio. This is in ternary for. The B section features the unspecified keyboard instrument.
III: Allegro Vivace. Faster than the first movement. Probably the only one worth listening to.

Symphony no. 3 in D minor. Probably sometime around March 2009.
Approx. duration: 12'-13'
Instrumentation: 0,2,0,1-2,0,0,0-str.
Description: My symphony no. 3 has all the necessary ingredients for any symphony by Haydn or Mozart written around 1770. I wrote it in about five days during one school holidays when I was feeling bored. This is also in three movements.
I: Adagio-Allegro. I finally wrote a symphony that uses sonata form in the first movement. The slow introduction includes a solo for a double bass.
II: Andante. A C major theme and variations movement for only strings.
III: Allegro. This rondo movement back in D minor starts off as a fugue for strings with many sudden syncopations. I am actually quite fond of it.

Symphony no. 4 in G minor "Inside Out" 31st of December 2009 to 1st of January 2010.
Approx. duration: 14'
Instrumentation: 0,2,0,1,-2,0,0,0-str.
Description: My experimental idea of an "inside out" symphony came to life in the (total of) ten hours of writing this symphony. I went back to a four movement form, but a very different four movement form than what was around in the 18th and early 19th centuries.
I: Grave. A very slow and mysterious section to start off.
II: Fuga (Allegro). A fast fugue in 6/8 time for the orchestra.
III: Gavotte. A stately dance movement for the strings.
IV: Andante. A very melodic slow movement to round off the work.
This four movement form (1: slow, mysterious. 2: fast, contrapuntal. 3: fast-ish, dance-like. 4: slow, lyrical) has stuck with me ever since. It can be seen in more recent works such as the Piano Quintet and the Violin Concerto no. 5.

"Avant-garde period" (late 2009 onwards)

Symphony no. 5. Written about mid October 2010
Approx. duration: 5'
Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, trumpet, crystallophone, mandolin, string quartet and string orchestra.
Description: This symphony is not my best work, but I do like it a lot. It is my shortest so far and I wrote the whole thing one night and the next morning before school started. It shows a lot of influence from Webern (two short movements, kalngfarbenmelodie).
I: Slowish I suppose. And quite weird. Has a section for string quartet halfway through.
II: Seems a fair bit faster but doesn't have the feeling of a "moderato." This movement is vaguely canonic.

Symphony no. 6. Started a few days ago.
Approx. duration: The first movement sketches last for about nine minutes, and the third movement would probably be about three to four minutes. In all it would probably be between 30' and 40'
Instrumentation: Undecided. The third movement is going to be played in December next year by the musicians at school. I will have to write for whatever instruments available.
Description: It came to me last week that I need to write a proper atonal symphony that lasts for a decent amount of time and has a more "normal" instrumentation to one day be played by an orchestra in a proper concert. I started writing the sketches a few days ago when listening to BBC Radio 3 on the Internet. It will be in four movements.
I: Slow. Basically a development of five motifs. This movement is palindromic.
II: Fast. Probably 6/8.
III: Fast. Some kind of "atonal fugue" if you get what I mean.
IV: Slow.

Symphony no. 7 "The Death of Osiris." An arrangement of orchestral and song excerpts from my opera of the same name written 2010-2011
Approx. duration: 29'
Instrumentation: Piccolo/bass flute, oboe/heckelphone, soprano saxophone (in place of Isis's voice) bassoon, four horns, three tenor trombones, three bass trombones, triangle, wood block, tambourine, sizzle cymbals, tam-tam, five tom-toms, 2 pianos (one prepared one normal) and strings
Description: The music is taken from all of the orchestral excerpts and some song excerpts of my first opera "The Death of Osiris." It is arranged into a symphony of several movements that flow into each other without a pause (so it doesn't become a suite.) The arrangement of the orchestral excerpts is as follows:
I: Prelude to Act I
II: Acrobatics (from Act II)
III: Horn Call (from Act III)
IV: Danse Macabre (from Act I)
V: Ballet Interlude
VI: Banquet Music (from act I)
VII: Prelude to act II
VIII: Isis's funeral song (from act III)
IX: Prelude to Act III and Final Four Bars.

Updated Feb-17-2012 at 07:24 by ComposerOfAvantGarde

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  1. HarpsichordConcerto's Avatar
    That's an impressive thematic catalogue! You got to beat that old tradition of writing more than nine symphonies, you know. Too many of them wrote just nine symphonies, thinking it must have been cool to follow Louis' trendy nine. You have seven symphonies right now, so you must write at least three more, or just one more and no more. What about a choral symphony? Giving that a go? Just don't make it a number 9 for choral.

    Number 7 looks the most interesting right now. Good inspiration to you.
  2. ComposerOfAvantGarde's Avatar
    I've got a text for a choral symphony already. That thing by Percy Shelley needs to be used someday.

    The seventh symphony has the best orchestration out of all of them in my opinion.
    Updated Feb-17-2012 at 07:24 by ComposerOfAvantGarde