Listen to the first movement theme
Not in the cosmic Biblical sense, but in the particular sense of the beginning of an individual's life; the beginning of a life; the powerful chemical, biological and social forces whose unleashing results in the actualization of a human being; musically reminiscent of chaos ordering itself, dissonant, chaotic patterns, overlapping layers of orchestration, variations of timbre, tempo and dynamics in search of a theme. The violin, representing the soul, weaving in and out of these passages, dovetailing with the underlying music, finally resolving into the simplest of melodies, the lullaby of a child, nevertheless replete with the tremendous potential of a human life, a theme which will be shaped and molded through the course of the whole symphony.
Listen to the entire second movement demo
Three chords repeating slowly, reminiscent of deep breathing. The violin introduces a melody of great simplicity and purity, deeply felt. In contrast to the busy-ness and sharp contrasts of the first movement, this second movement is without complexity of any kind, an idealization of childhood experience, dream-like and serene.
Listen to a the third movement theme
Innocence in the light of day. Movements 2 & 3 form a kind of 'symphony within a symphony' closely related thematically but drastically different in effect. The innocence theme is here taken up and developed, enlarged, tested, challenged and ultimately fragmented by a series of passages at first expansive and flowing, later increasingly rhythmic, disjunct, culminating in a violent and finally pathetic deconstruction of the innocence theme. The listener has a sense of that a great question has been posed, suspension seeking resolution.
The music returns here to the 'origin' motif that gave rise to the first movement. The violin enters and leads the listener in a new theme, related to the innocence theme, but distinct as well, a moment of great purity and simplicity that creates a new resolve. The music here is intended to suggest a moment in the life of the individual when the shape of their life becomes clear, and they see finally that task which will bring to their experience the meaning they seek. A moment of insight and inspiration, and the resolution to set about their life's work.
Listen to the fifth movement theme
Contrapuntal ‘study’ of increasing complexity, interrupted, expanded and enlarged by a recurrent canon, beginning with simple means, solo violin only, but steadily inexorably taking up the full forces of the orchestra. The violent contrasts are gone, as is the uncertainty and fragmentation. Rhythms are steady, even, intrepid and unshakable. A sense of ever mounting power and grandeur, the conscious effort of an individual dedicated to a Life’s Work, culminating in...
Listen to the sixth movement theme
Here the final theme of the Symphony, related to the Genesis Theme, pauses of silence built into the melody give a sense of 'catching one's breath', of taking the moment of accomplishment in. This gives way to a brief triumphant display, the celebration of a task achieved, yet this celebration gives way all too quickly to a sense of mortality. The innocence theme returns in full here, but with a new urgency, suggesting a return to Innocence in Death. A final, very simple tune is introduced, which has its roots in the whole fabric of the previous five movements, emerging finally into...
The final theme, the ‘Life Song’ is fully realized here, and the Audience is invited to participate in the symphony by singing along, uniting listener and performer in a shared musical experience. The soloist continues to play unaccompanied, exiting the hall at the same time, symbolizing the eternity of the soul.