Symphony No 17 6th movement - Love

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Symphony No 17 6th movement - Love


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Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
9 minutes
Modern classical music
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Symphony No 17 6th movement ? Love

The first movement of my first Violin Sonata is featured here intact, but is interrupted about two thirds of the way through by a new agitato episode for orchestra alone. At the age of 18 I stayed up all night in my rooms at Cambridge in November 1959 to write this movement for the girl (a violinist) whom I had just met, and presented her with it the next day. She had been my wife since 1965 and after she developed Motor Neurone Disease (ALS) in 2003 I started to write this Symphony in order to try to help her overcome the terrible experience of wasting slowly away as the muscles in her body die bit by bit. The early Sonata meant a lot to both of us and that is why it has been quoted in every movement of the Symphony. She died of the disease in 2006 unable to move or speak.

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