In composing my first symphony, I was interested in exploring the one movement form as used by Sibelius in his seventh, Lutoslawski in his third, and Rochberg in his fifth and second. My primary inspiration was gleaned from Sibelius, who at once created a work that is astonishingly tight in its organization and various in its mood. He was able to create a work that is truly a single, continuous utterance, yet also acknowledges the rich tradition of the symphony through his inclusion of the elements of the scherzo, slow movement, and even sonata form, all capped with a stunning apotheosis that serves to revisit materials presented throughout the work while simultaneously continuing the dramatic thread of the work through and beyond the final bar.
I, too, was interested in acknowledging the great variety inherent in the symphonic tradition while creating a seamless work. My symphony can very broadly be described as consisting of five sections: a slow introduction, scherzo, extended development, slow movement, and quick finale. Each section is both self-contained and connected. Self-contained in that there is little exact repetition in other sections of material found in one; connected by the omnipresence of a few small motivic elements.
The greater efficiency of much contemporary music (and music of the twentieth century), has always compelled me, particularly in that it crosses all aesthetic and superficial boundaries. Music as diverse as Webern’s and Sibelius’s, Pärt’s and Varèse’s, shares this quality. While Schubert, Wagner, Bruckner and Mahler formed a chain of continually expanding musical forms, a separate history was unfolding through the compression of those forms. In my first symphony, I was interested in exploring this other history.