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Symphony No.1

Sheet Music: Score

Symphony No.1 : for string orchestra / Matthew Dewey

Also known as: Port Arthur 1996

by Matthew Dewey (2008)

  • Purchase Price: $46.36 (Usually ships in 3-8 business days) — Add to Cart
  • Library Availability: 784.7/DEW 1 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: String orchestra.
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  • Audio Sample

    Performance by Russian Philharmonic Orchestra from the CD Selected works by AMC represented artists


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The impetus for writing this piece came from a play by Tasmanian writer Tom Holloway called "Beyond the Neck", which premiered in 2007, and on which I was called in at the last minute to work on. The play explored the lives of four characters who had all been affected in profoundly different ways by the Port Arthur massacre of 1996. Although I was initially furious that anyone would dare to discuss the tragedy in such an open way, it quickly occurred to me that Tom's play was actually the first public discussion of the massacre, a matured view delivered with the benefit of time and reflection - upon what is still present in the minds of many Tasmanians, and will likely never be resolved.

In his review of Tom's play, Robert Jarman described it as "a meditation on our common grief and isolation" - and it is this feeling that I used for the greater structure and tone of the piece: The first movement, which desperately seeks responses to questions which can't be answered; the second, a "planh" or lament on the death of a friend; and the third, a more optimistic exploration of feelings and emotions complex and irresolvable. The piece is framed by a short musical phrase that symbolises the ultimately unanswerable question of "why?". The phrase appears only twice during the work - at the very opening of the first movement, and towards the conclusion of the third.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (37p. -- A4 (portrait))

Difficulty: Advanced

Duration: 25 mins

Dedicated to Damien Holloway, Hobart Chamber Orchestra

Commissioned by Damien Holloway for performance by Hobart Chamber Orchestra.

First performance by Hobart Chamber Orchestra, Edwin Palin — 17 May 08. Hobart Town Hall

The composer cites as influences on the work: Neo-romantic, Shostakovich, Mahler.

Typeset edition.

ISMN: 979-0-67309-845-9

Related products

This work is also available in the following products:

CD: Echoes / Matthew Dewey ; Russian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Selected works by AMC represented artists
CD: Selected works by AMC represented artists : vol. 3.

Symphony No.1
Parts: Symphony No.1 : for string orchestra / Matthew Dewey.


- Browse other works for String orchestra

- Browse other works by Matthew Dewey

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