Symphony No.1

Click the links below to see excerpts:

1. Lento maestoso/Allegro furioso

2. Marche Funèbre

3. Scherzo

4. Chaconne


ISMN 979-720029-82-5

Duration: approximately thirty-three minutes

Score 40.00 AUD

Parts are for hire - please contact us for details.

This symphony was composed as the result of a request by the conductor, Allan Stiles, after a performance of the composer’s Oboe Concerto. It is a tribute to his favourite composers - Brahms for his structural substance and Berlioz for his mastery of orchestration. It could easily be called Brahms’s fifth symphony with a bit of help from Berlioz.

The first movement starts with a slow introduction. There are three elements like Brahms’s first - slow pounding crotchets, a passionate theme, and rising (not descending) thirds. This leads to an Allegro furiouso that is in strict sonata form. The first subject is based on the introduction and the second subject features Brahms’s favourite instrument, the horn, with support from the violas and celli.

The second movement is a tribute to Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, a Marche funèbre. Starting with the muffled timpani and bass drum, a mournful theme is announced on the double basses and tuba. There is a contrasting middle section that intersperses a general crescendo with a peaceful conclusion.

The third movement is a scherzo. It is the soul of wit and has the substance of a champagne bubble. A more peaceful trio section provides some sanity.

The last movement is a tribute to Brahms’s fourth symphony. It is a chaconne with fifty-one variations based on an eight-bar chord sequence. Every section of the orchestra is featured. The thirty-eighth variation reveals the tubular bells playing the Dies irae. The brass play a theme from Tchaikovsky’s fourth symphony in the coda and an ecstatic hubbub proclaims praise to God.

Stiles Music Publications