Symphony No 21

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page one of Symphony No 21

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Full details

My Twenty-first Symphony is one of the oddest ones in the complete cycle. It is in two distinct halves, but the material for each is the same. In the first half each section of the orchestra is complete independent of the others. each has its own material, and never plays with any other section. The sections alternate brass-percussion-wind-strings, always in that order. Each instrumental section continues the development of its own ideas every time it reappears. However the musical phrases gradually become shorter as each section becomes impatient to carry on. Finally an impasse is reached roughly half-way through the piece, and some very loud tutti chords bring all this to an end. The second half of the symphony uses exactly the same material, but it is now shared by the whole orchestra which develops each idea in succession, and in a far less uncompromising style.

Score ID
Year of composition
Difficult (Grades 7+)
21 minutes
Modern classical music

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