My first symphony

Hi everyone, first post!

I'd like to share my first symphony, which was also my first original orchestral work (i.e. not an arrangement). I wrote this in one month in 2019, even though some basic ideas date from many years before. It was an agonic month, since I could barely think about anything else.

I've refined the orchestration a bit since then. I'm self-taught but I've gotten feedback in a few spots by pros, and I've also implemented new things I've learned on my own.

This was written with an overall early-20th-century aesthetic in mind, combined with very strong jazz influences. The first movement's in sonata form with an introduction, then follows a somewhat grotesque waltz (in lieu of a scherzo), then a dreamy slow movement, and finally some sort of pseudo-ragtime in rondo form.

Score here.

Audio here.

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  • Absolutely terrific!

  • Masterful. Lots going on here and its all handled beautifully. Great sound quality too!

    I only made it halfway before the player stopped. Maybe I had a bad connection. I will try again as I look forward to hearing the rest.

  • I reloaded it and was able to listen to the rest. The second half is just as impressive as the first.

    Superb execution. Even in the densest sections, the mix is still transparent so that you can follow the individual instruments and lines. It sounds like you tried to give each and every player something interesting to do.

    I enjoyed listening to this.

  • @Fabio: Thanks!

    @Harmonius: Glad you enjoyed! The playback's just the unprocessed output of Noteperformer, I'm actually not much into the musical production side. The 120 bucks that NP costed me were one of my best investments.

  • Remarkable achievement - listening to the first movement.  I'll try to make time for the rest later. You seem to have had a fair bit of experience and it shows in this work. I pick up what you mean about early 20th century ethos and among European works it aligns more with British tradition than anywhere else I can think of in Europe (not that I'm any expert so please put me right if you felt you were influenced by a particular European 'school'). It has some affinity with the American Don Gillis - his first symphony comes to mind. And jazz influence is detectable in some of the first movement harmony.

    Very well done, and all the best with the coming premières.


  • This is a really enjoyable piece !  I tend to relate to the early 20th century aesthetic quite a lot ( and jazzy influences too) and a lot of my favourite composers are from that period, so I knew if this was well done, I'd  most probably like it. And really well done it is ! .. With so many absolutely wonderful moments .. Even more remarkable as it's your first original orchestral work, and you being self-taught. Your music made me curious enough that I found your website in your bio and your youtube channel, and plan on exploring more of your works.  Congrats on producing really engrossing music ! 

  • @ Dane Auburn

    Thanks Dane! I've read these comparisons before, but I think Soviet composers have had an equally strong influence. The only Brit/Anglo that has influenced me decisively is Grainger (I've also studied the orchestration of The Planets thoroughly, but that was after writing this). Maybe this impression comes from the fact that I've been very influenced by the same models many British composers had: Grieg, Ravel and a bit of Debussy.

    My biggest influences here were probably Prokofiev, Ravel, Bartók, Bill Evans, and maybe a bit of Khachaturian. At that point I was also starting to fall under Kapustin's spell, an influence that's become a bit too strong in my latest pieces.

    I've sent the score to a couple of competitions, I'm crossing my fingers!

    @Sahir Haider

    Thank you for your kind words! I've met some professors of my local conservatory, and if I'd studied with them, they'd've probably panned this style, so I guess being self-taught is a bonus. Ofc that makes having a breakthrough harder, but I'm not in a hurry!

  • Hi,

    Delightful, cheerful, lyrical, Charming, fun presented with masterful craftsmanship.

    This piece should be highlighted as the piece of the month on Composersforum.


  • This is very impressive Albert, well written and orchestrated.  Clearly your study and work have paid off well.  I too had trouble with the player stopping early for some reason, I'll reload and try again. This is great use of NotePerformer as well, a tribute to their technology.

    Thanks for posting!

  • @ Saul @ Ingo

    Thank you both! Your kind words are very encouraging in rough times like these

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