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The Rise of the Concerto and the Fall of the Symphony in Britain


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Author Topic: The Rise of the Concerto and the Fall of the Symphony in Britain  (Read 1253 times)
ahinton
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« on: November 17, 2012, 08:43:04 pm »

This is all very interesting - fascinating and engaging, in fact - but Robin Holloway has written one symphony that he calls a symphony (as has the younger Julian Anderson who was a student of his) and, arguably, his five (to date) concertos for orchestra are effectively symphonies in all but name.

I don't think that there is quite the problem with "the fall of the symphony" in Britain as you put forward, even though there would appear to be fewer and farther between pieces called "symphony" from leading and widely performed composers in Britain or indeed elsewhere today. For the record, David Matthews has gently "accused" me of not yet writing a symphony but, flattering as that is, coming from a real symphonist, I simply do not feel confident to write a piece to which I can reasonably give that title; it's a very daunting prospect for those who care about the past, present and future of the symphony (I have written a 40-minue four-movement symphony actually, but I've banged the four movements together into one, crammed it down into the smallest possible space and time and called the resultant 10-minute piece "Sinfonietta", yet even giving it that title gave me many days of agony before committing myself to it!)...
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