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<<  -- 2 --  Bill Newman    A PAEAN OF REJOICING


Like Carl Nielsen (or more correctly Sibelius, to whom the work is dedicated) there is a delayed decision whether he wishes to remain in the minor mode instead, fixing on A minor, then G minor to widen into a whole new process of development involving instrumental swirling cascades of breathtaking originality, before plunging upwards to the key of D major to intermix horn fanfares with string sonorities. At the close, he switches back to the minor, violins softly reiterating the sad opening motive like a threnody of distilled passion.

B flat minor - major provides feelings of hope at the start of the middle movement [listen - track 2, 0:00-1:00], and a half melody appears in lower strings/bassoons. Promises of spacious endeavour come from upper strings, extending the line above the stave involving the brass section in discordant fashion while attempting to push harmonies in other directions, then the temperature simmers to introduce a lovely passage for horns in E flat major, albeit of brief time span. Instrumental patterns return us firstly to B flat, a horn solo follows, then sardonic brass figures over a bass timpani (compare with Vaughan Williams) are employed to modulate 1. into D major-minor, 2. G minor. Chordal intervals of the fifth, another favourite device of the composer, sidesteps any promises of resolve at this point; staying in G minor the music plunges from Poco lento to Poco moderato for the start of the Finale.

There are strong evidences of the composer's love for Russian dancers in the off-beat measures that follow, although in the nature of a passing episode. A much slower section interplays 3 notes - C, D flat, A flat, faster episodes trying to interrupt proceedings. We have arrived at the extended coda for the bright key of D major in the shape of a sunburst carrying the listener forward and upwards to new quests of achievement. The ending is a paean of rejoicing, brass in the topmost registers echoing resplendent timpani below prior to a massive chordal close.

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Copyright © 12 November 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK







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