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.

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  • First of all, apologies for not writing sooner -- I only just noticed that the symphony had been posted as I was away when it first arrived. It has to be said at the outset that this is one of the most ambitious works I've come across on the forum. By 3'12" with the introduction of the sublime lyrical theme (worthy of Bruckner or Brincken himself), I was hooked and this develops into a most powerful climax around 11'20" followed by crashing dissonances. The seemingly almost becalmed central section I still need to work on. It might be useful to provide a brief structural analysis of this fascinating movement. The scherzo, (without a trio it might be noted) on the other hand is much more straightforward and a charming foil to the drama of the opening. The last movement is largely contemplative and slow moving. There is a climax created around 9 -10 minutes -- I'm sure in this situation, I would have had a passionate outburst rather than the slightly sinister measured chords but perhaps this approach does work and the coda is very nicely done.

    The NotePerformer rendering works OK for the most part but I do think a more spacious acoustic is required to give this majestic work its full impact. Perhaps Finale has some decent reverb built in? For NP, I myself use Liquidsonics Reverberate but there are plenty of alternatives. I think there is some tendency for the strings to dominate over the other sections, particularly when they have more of an ostinato rather than melodic role and some rebalancing might help. The fizziness of the strings can be reduced with CC105 set to a lower vibrato level.

    • Thanks as always for your feedback, David.  This post was buried back there a ways and H.S. resurrected it.  I think all your criticisms are noteworthy and yes, once I have finished a piece I often think of a thousand ways I could've done things differently and perhaps better in various places.  The section in the final movement you mention is one of them -- almost the moment the movement was hot off the press I was thinking similar thoughts about having a more emotionally dramatic climax and less sinister in this spot.  Maybe I should've changed it then because the longer I wait the harder it is to allow myself to make changes.

      I took a break from work so don't have a lot of time at the moment, but I'll try to get that more detailed structural analysis of the 1st movement to you -- probably by email since I owe you one.


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