Films, Audio & Samples
John Elmsly: Metamorphosis ...Embedded audio
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Metamorphosis was originally composed as one of a set of three pieces for symphony orchestra when I was a student of Victor Legley at the Koninklijk Muziekconservatorium van Brussel, though it has never been read by an orchestra. The title is doubly significant in that it both refers to the technical processes since all of the musical material is derived by pitch and rhythmic transformations from the opening five note figure presented by the flute in the first dozen or so bars, and that the piece represents my metamorphosis into a committed symphonic composer. Without the experience of writing this and its companions I doubt that I could have written with ease the Cello Symphony, Pacific Hockets or Response of later years.
Since it was my first true essay in symphonic writing I left it undisturbed for many years, but after re-examining the score last year decided that it had many strengths. After battling with the toil of computer typesetting I have been surprised to find myself still pleased by much of the writing, and apart from one or two minor corrections the new edition is the 1977 work largely untouched.
At the time I was working on this, I was supervised by Victor Legley, a fine symphonic composer, harmonist and viola player who died in 1994; I dedicate the revised score to his fine mentoring and know he would have enjoyed hearing it.
Dedicated to Victor Legley
02 Sep 2008: 2008 NZSO-SOUNZ Readings 2