Performed by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (U.K.) - Conducted by Michael Shapiro
Notes by the composer..........My Second Symphony is a work of absolute music. It has no subtext; it tells no "story"; it just is. I had always wished to write a four-movement symphony, containing a serious first movement, a scherzo, a lyrical slow movement, and a set of variations concluding in transcendence. Working in 2010 with Maestra Marin Alsop and the virtuosic Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music (for the California premiere of my Roller Coaster) provided inspiration to open my symphonic veins further, write a large work for large orchestra, and out came this purely instrumental symphony (my first, Symphony Pomes Penyeach, is a song cycle). The Second Symphony is scored for full orchestra including the usual complement of winds, brass, percussion, and strings, but adding alto flute and English horn for their special pungency. Its premiere reading with The Chappaqua Orchestra in the United States was immediately followed by this recording in July, 2015 with the miraculous City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at CBSO Centre in Birmingham, UK. The recording sessions with these great musicians confirmed the sounds, textures, timbres, rhythms, and, yes, emotions I intended to impart when I wrote the work. It is preserved now for listeners to hear, and, I trust, be moved by – a symphony in four movements for orchestra, plain and simple, colorful and complex, a work that is absolutely what it is. The symphony is dedicated to Marjorie Perlin.
Duration of the Second Symphony: 36'