Commissioned by the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra

  • 2.2.1+bcl.2/
  • 19 min

Programme Note

The two main "themes" of Sinfonia are beauty and violence. These are interpreted as a psychological conflict, with all their extended connotations: love, friendship, humanity, appreciation, elevation, nature, landscape, anger, destruction, animalism, baseness, the city, submersion. (The image which seemed to reflect the piece most while I was writing it was the promise of warmth from the winter sun as it reflected on the frozen landscape, and the irony that its warming effect was the destruction of the vision, decay, even violence.)

The first third or so of the piece is preoccupied with the idea of beauty; then the insidious presence of violence gradually transforms the music. After a plateau of some brutality has been reached, ideas from the start of the piece begin to return, juxtaposed with broken fragments (even echoes) of the more violent music. There is no resolution or rebirth, though: the two ideas achieve only an uneasy balance (interdependence?) at the close of the work, resting against each other like two spent boxers…

© 1999 Stuart MacRae


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