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John Rimmer: Symphony (1968...Embedded audio
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In many ways Symphony (1968) which was composed in Toronto while I was studying with John Weinzweig, encapsulates what I wanted to achieve stylistically as a composer in this and in subsequent works.
I was interested in exploring a high degree of subtlety in tone colours and dramatic contrasts in rhythm and texture.
I wanted to achieve a string characterisation in the music by contrasting melodic, soloistic writing and contrapuntally inspired textures both fuelled by a lyrical impulse. In addition I wanted to lead my listeners through the delightful complexity of a sonic maze by the repetitions and extensions of clearly defined musical ideas.
These aspects can be heard in the Finale in the contrast between angular, jagged full orchestra textures and the soloist and ensemble sections. The percussion instruments are particularly prominent in this movement and the final climax features several percussive rhythmic layers.
23 May 1979: Performed by the NZSO, conductor John Hopkins
13 Feb 2001: Performed in a rehearsed reading by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Young as part of the NZSO-SOUNZ Readings
02 May 2010: 18th NZSO-SOUNZ Readings
First performed at Carnegie Hall, New York in February 1970 by the National Orchestral Association, conductor John Barnett.