Symphony

Huw Watkins (1976)

Symphony 2017

3233 - 4331 - timp - perc (2) - harp - celeste - strings
Duration 
22
Genre 
Publisher 

When the Hallé asked me in 2013 to write them a piece, I decided quite quickly that what I wanted to write was a symphony. I suspect that there are as many different ideas about what constitutes a symphony as there are symphonies; for me, though, at least on this occasion, it needed to be a piece where the development of the musical ideas was more important than any exploration of extra-musical themes.

I also decided early on that this Symphony would have only two movements. The first would have a very fast pulse throughout, and would be restlessly energetic, while the second would, at least initially, have a more reflective character. During the composition of the piece, I realised that there would also be many correspondences between the two movements, some obvious, some more subtle.

All the time, somewhere in my mind, was the glorious sound of the Hallé under Sir Mark Elder. I've known the Hallé since I went to Chetham's School of Music in the 1990s, but I think that the orchestra has rarely sounded as magnificent as they do right now.

Huw Watkins

Performances 
20.4.17 Bridgewater Hall, Manchester: Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
21.4.17 Sheffield City Hall: Hallé Orchestra / Mark Elder
3
Flute
3rd piccolo
2
Oboe
3
Clarinet
3rd bass clarinet
3
Bassoon
3rd contrabassoon
4
Horn
3
Trumpet
3
Trombone
1
Tuba
1
Timpani
2
Percussion
glockenspiel, clash cymbals, tam-tam, high metal block, side drum, bass drum
1
Harp
1
Piano
celeste
(Esc)