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Italian Symphony : for Chamber Orchestra

by John Spence (2013)

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Work Overview

The work was composed during my travels through Italy. I wrote it quickly in order to respond to a request for scores to be submitted. Consequently the piece is greatly inspired by my reactions to the sights of Rome, Florence and Venice. I was particularly struck by the beauty of scultpure through Italy. I also was inspired by visiting the Chiesa della Pieta in Venice where Vivaldi taught the violin. I heard a chamber orchestra version of The four seasons and was greatly inspired by writing a work for a small chamber orchestral ensemble.
There is a lot of detail in this score. The harmony is complex and the rhythms and metre are constantly changing. The oboe solo in the second movement attempts to capture the spirit of Roman scultpure. I remember visiting the Florence cathedral one afternoon and then coming back to my hotel room and composed the harmonic development from bar 29 of the first movement. I found it easy to compose amidst my tourist visits and this work is a true diary of my experience.

Work Details

Year: 2013

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet in B flat, bassoon & chamber string orchestra.

Duration: 12 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Contents note: 1. Kouros -- 2. Amorini -- 3. Apollo the muse.

Dedication note: Dedicated to Stefano Sabene

The composer notes the following influences associated with this work:
Carl Vine, Martin Wesley-Smith.

This work has been composed for Stefano Sabene who is Director of the Roma Opera Omnia in Rome. After some discussion, he invited me to submit some of my scores for a proposed tour of Russia with his chamber orchestra.


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