• Britta Byström
  • Symphony in Yellow (2003)

  • Edition Wilhelm Hansen Copenhagen (World)
  • vn.vc.pf
  • 10 min

Programme Note


Symphony in Yellow for piano trio is structured as a “miniature symphony” in three movements. The slow middle movement is surrounded by two faster ones. The title is taken from a poem by Oscar Wilde, in which various images that are all characterized by something yellow float by: a yellow bus, yellow hay, yellow leaves…

During the composition of the work I searched for a certain mood or color of sound, something “yellow” that should remain unchanged while different musical events in the work’s structure took place. I perceived my challenge to be akin to an artist painting different subjects using only one color.

Britta Byström

Oscar Wilde: Symphony in Yellow

An omnibus across the bridge
Crawls like a yellow butterfly,
And, here and there a passer-by
Shows like a little restless midge.
Bib barges full of yellow hay
Are moored against the shadowy wharf,
And, like yellow silken scarf,
The thick fog hangs along the quay.
The yellow leaves begin to fade
And flutter from the Temple elms,
And at my feet the pale green Thames
Lies like a rod of rippled jade.