Symphony No. 4

Hello Friends,

I have spent the last 10 days writing my Fourth Symphony.  I actually began the first movement in 2020 but abandoned it after only 20 or 30 measures.  It was the pandemic year -- yeah, we all know how that went.  Anyhow, in late June, I became interested in doing something with it, and here it is.  This is a three-movement symphony, ending with the slow movement.  Hope you enjoy.

 

https://soundcloud.com/greg-hodges-93214247

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  • Only just got to this. Listened to the first mvmt.  Starts off like a blend between Bruckner and Rimsky-Korsakov, and then proceeded to throw in everything and the kitchen sink, in places reminiscient of Shostakovich's 4th and 11th symphonies.  I'm not sure what to make of this movement: there are many moments of interest, but I'm failing to see the big picture of how it all fits together.  I'm sure there's some logic to this, but there's so much going on here and the music goes off in so many different directions that I just felt quite lost by the end.  Or maybe that's the whole point -- for the listener to just enjoy the music of the moment and be carried along, free of any worry of overarching direction?  At any rate, it's definitely interesting.

    Will get to the other movements eventually...

    • You do realize that youre using non real orchestral sounds, so I think an effort has to be made so that they will sound ok for the listerner within reason.

      I don't know how all these sounds blend together into a cohesive whole. It is difficult to listen at this quality, did you try better string quality maybe Albion one? I would suggest to write this first for strings only to see what is the structure of the piece and than move on from there to add other things.

       

       

      • Thanks for your feedback.  I am still learning my way around NotePerformer and how to get the most out of Finale.  I'm sorry the performance aspect was not more satisfactory.

    • Thanks for listening.  There is a lot of variation here, for sure.  The unifying factors are the first theme stated in the English horn at the very beginning, and the lyrical theme introduced about 3 minutes in.  I toy with these throughout.  The logic of the piece, as in all my pieces, is simply the instinct of the creative impulse -- I go where it takes me.  That's not to say there is no analytical dimension to the music, but I place less emphasis upon formal structure than other composers might.  With that said, at the very end of the first movement is a fugue of sorts, to close out the work -- something you might find interesting.  It's pretty busy, so unless you know from the outset that's what it is, you might miss it.

      In any case, thanks for listening and for your feedback!  

      • ... at the very end of the first movement is a fugue of sorts, to close out the work -- something you might find interesting.

        Ahahaha... you made me listen again just for that. :-D  It's rather short, and the theme isn't the easiest to pick out, but yeah, definitely a fugato passage is a good way of building up towards the climax at the conclusion of the movement.

        Listened also to the 2nd and 3rd movements this time round. The 2nd mvmt is a wonderful, lighthearted break from the more sombre mood in the outer movements. It seems a little too light at times, though, in my biased opinion. Almost like it needs a bit more discord in order to fit in better with the other two movements. :-P  But OK, we can't dwell too much on the darker moods in order not to tire the ear out.

        Ending with a slow movement is an interesting idea. It speaks of something heavy and serious, and certainly, its haunting moods fit quite well with this objective. I like how the opening starts off on a promising note, but quickly darkens into something far more sombre. Actually, throughout the whole movement, the sweet and the bitter intermingle and blend, in one smooth soundscape. Even toward the end, the listener is left in suspense as to whether things will sour again, and his attention is held until the very end before he's satisfied that yes, we are ending on a peaceful note.  Quite masterfully done IMO.

        • your comment about the 2nd movement possibly being too light was something I had also considered when first listening to the symphony. Should there not somewhere be a hint of menace or danger? To be honest, I can't make up my mind

        • Thank you, H.S.  I think you got out of the final movement what I was hoping listeners would.  For all the darkness and uncertainty, I wanted to end on a note of quiet resignation -- a sort of stoic acceptance of "what is."  

          On the middle movement, I mulled it over and decided I wanted to go with something completely light, with no sinister hints at all -- not only to divide the two more serious movements but also to offer something of a literal "joke" (i.e. does this movement really belong in this symphony?).  It was sort of the musical version, for me, of how I think sometimes -- contemplating the heavy issues I often find myself seeking some kind of comic relief.  

          • I'm all game when it comes to musical jokes. My fugue in D, for example. :-)  Or the sordid joke in the scherzo movement of Shostakovich's 15th. Music that refuses to take itself seriously, even when it's being dead serious.

  • Hi Gregory,

    Stopped in to check your material but hitting the soundcloud infiltration forcing me to do things I

    don't want to do caused me to abort.  Hope the 4th symphony went well!

    David Jephrey Young

    • Thanks for giving it the old college try, David.  I'm new to SoundCloud myself, so not sure what you encountered but the last thing I want is for someone to be deterred from listening because of some unacceptable inconveniences.  I'll look into it.

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