The symphony opens with the first movement, Adante Cantabile, featuring playful tunes by flutes, piccolos and clarinets over a melodic but unobtrusive setting provided by the string section. Glockenspiel notes are sprinkled lightly over the major chords with occasional comment by the E flat trumpet. The bassoon adds a touch of humor.
The music eases into the pastoral second movement, nurtured by the violas and cellos and seasoned by an occasional glissando from the harp. A conversation between the oboe and English horn blend in. The French horns and baritones unselfishly pick up the themes after gentle modulation to a lower key. A flute obbligato complements the melody and clarinets serenade in their lower registers.
A cymbal crash introduces the tympani in the dark largo third movement. Elements of the first and second movements survive but in somber tempo and modulated to minor keys. The double bass, bass clarinet and contrabass saxophone are featured in this movement with only tentative statements by the muted trumpets and violas.
Tension characterizes the fourth movement with the violins in a violent tremolo and aggressive trumpet passages touching on dissonant chords. Trombone notes are repeatedly intrusive. String sections become increasingly embroiled in competing melody lines while piccolos and flutes sound their disapproval like angry songbirds. Tympani are called upon to build drama.
The fifth movement begins with suggestions of partial reconciliation among components of the somber third and furious fourth. The harp glissando is incorporated more liberally. Chord progressions are soothing. Harmony prevails but bright fanfares assert themselves and are loathe to be ignored. Pastoral elements return with mature restraint. The fifth draws on the enduring beauty which is never lost in the earlier movements.
Challenge: Use prose or poetry to write about the month of March, any holiday in the month, or anything that might have happened to you in this month.
March 8, is Michelle’s birthday. Happy Birthday, Michelle.