And finally, my 1st symphony

After some struggle getting Dorico to do what I wanted… or rather, wrapping my brain around how Dorico logically does things, I have finally finished the score and a recording of my 1st symphony (1st of four. 2 is my “Sinfonia Canadensis”, 3 is the “War Symphony”, and 4 is the “Symphony for strings” which was premiered last October in its new form, entirely done in Dorico as well.)

The symphony is an elaboration of what was a very early attempt at a symphony, at that time very short and in a single movement.
It’s played non-stop from one movement to the next, so keeps the sense of “in one movement”, but like the Barber 1st symphony is still divided into 4 inner movements, all based on three themes expounded in the opening pages.


Michel, what an achievement! I’m listening to your piece as I write this. I will need to listen to it again with headphones to get the full effect. You can’t be using simple major and minor scales. What are they? Any chance of getting this played by an orchestra?


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Bravo, Michel, this is excellent work, and a great piece! It will sound wonderful played by a live orchestra. Thank you for sharing, I look forward to hearing the others.

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Thanks Mike.

It uses a number of modes other than major/minor, and some polyharmony (not to be confused with polytonality.)

There’s lots of harmonic movement in 3rds, avoiding V-I relationships. And lots of harmony with “added notes”.

I have a conductor friend who has always liked this particular symphony of mine, and who is trying to find an opportunity. but chances are slim.

Thanks for sharing some of the nuts and bolts of how you achieved that sound, Michel. Harmonic movement in 3rds, hmmm? I must try that. You’re a fabulous composer. I hope that conductor friend of yours comes through and plays your piece.


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thank-you very much Mike.

I’m mostly an incredibly SLOW composer. It often takes me years to finish a piece. not because of procrastination, but rather because I hem and haw over the slightest detail for days on end.

Thank-you (and sorry for not acknowledging your comment earlier).
I’ve gotten to hear the 3rd and 4th symphonies live, the 4th has actually had 3 performances (since it’s a symphony for strings it’s easier to get a performance of it.)

The 3rd symphony was commissioned by a community orchestra, but I think it was a TINY bit beyond their capabilities. They performed it with gusto… if not the right notes.

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