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Chamber Symphony (2004)

 for orchestra

Listen to excerpts: 

Chamber Symphony Movm't 1 - excerpt
Chamber Symphony Movm't 2 - excerpt
Chamber Symphony Movm't 3 - excerpt

Instrumentation: 2222 / 2200 / 2 perc. / pno. / strings 


I. Joyous, ecstatic; with great energy

II. Ethereal, suspended

III. Rhythmically driving


Duration:  23 minutes

World Premiere:  Commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey Kahane, conductor, on May 11, 2004, Los Angeles, CA.


Program Notes:

My Chamber Symphony was, in part, inspired by the spiritual writings of three philosophers:  Aquinas, Augustine, and Thomas Merton (though not meant to be biographical in any way). It consists of three contrasting movements and was commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jeffrey Kahane in 2004.


The first movement, marked joyous, ecstatic, with great energy, makes use of a rapid repeating gesture, which reappears throughout the piece as a kind of marker, similar to the repeated use of ergo (therefore) in Aquinas’ writings. The second movement is more lyrical in character and features the percussion section bowing their instruments (vibraphone and crotales).  At one point in the movement, the strings are divided into a string quartet versus the rest of the string ensemble (a chamber music sound versus a more orchestral sound).  The rhythmically driving third movement features the percussion section performing antiphonal rhythmic patterns against the orchestra’s syncopated rhythms.


-- Pierre Jalbert

© 2016 Pierre Jalbert, Chamber Symphony

Photo:  Julia Jalbert

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