Adam Pounds | Symphony

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Symphony

by Adam Pounds

A strong rhythmic style, modern but very accessible
Genre: Classical: Orchestral
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Symphony No. 1: I. Allegro
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's
4:22 $0.99
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2. Symphony No. 1: II. Adagio
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's
6:15 $0.99
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3. Symphony No. 1: III. Allegro - IV. Allegro - Adagio - Allegro
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's
9:10 $0.99
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4. Martyrdom of Latimer
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's
8:36 $0.99
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5. Festival Overture (Live)
Adam Pounds & Nelson Orchestra
4:56 $0.99
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6. London Cantata: I. In Honour of the City of London
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's, Stapleford Choral Society
5:35 $0.99
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7. London Cantata: II. Docker's Song
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's, Stapleford Choral Society
1:19 $0.99
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8. London Cantata: III. Composed Upon Westminster Bridge
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's, Stapleford Choral Society
4:05 $0.99
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9. London Cantata: IV. Interlude
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's, Stapleford Choral Society
2:49 $0.99
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10. London Cantata: V. Shadwell Stair
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great St. Mary's, Stapleford Choral Society
7:02 $0.99
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11. London Cantata: VI. A March Day in London
Adam Pounds & Academy of Great Sst. Mary's, Stapleford Choral Society
4:50 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The symphony was completed in May 1985 and is scored for the standard symphony orchestra with the addition of a piano.

The first movement opens with a dramatic statement of the three-note motif that permeates the whole work. It is a movement of contrasts and is intended to be both edgy and reflective and really represents a state of mind. At times the orchestration appears light and ethereal, but the aggressive syncopation of the main fortissimo theme is always bubbling under the surface.

The second movement is an expansive adagio that is intended to evoke the picture of a cold winter wasteland. The melody that is heard at the beginning on muted strings returns in the coda section on the flute and is once again built on the three-note motif. This movement is uncompromising in its darkness and uncertainty. The theme that is heard at the centre of the movement (in different orchestrations) has been used in subsequent works by the composer including his song cycle Time

The scherzo was influenced in some ways by that which appears in Walton’s first symphony in that it is intended to be aggressive in style. However, this mood is interrupted several times by a chorale-like figure first heard in the strings and followed by the woodwind and brass.

The coda in the scherzo leads without a break into the fourth movement. It begins with an agitated string theme. Ominous brass chords are heard which gives way to assertive 5/4 rhythms until a loud climax is reached and a combination of the opening theme of the movement and the three-note motif are heard in the brass and woodwind, heralding the way for the reflective theme of the adagio. After a transitional figure on the lower strings the movement returns to its allegro and ends with an uncompromising statement of the main material.
The Martyrdom of Latimer (2009) explores the final days of the cleric Hugh Latimer’s life, his death at the stake and his martyrdom. In order to give a sense of period, modal themes and liturgical ideas are combined with strong rhythmic statements. The opening music is based on that of the Tudor composer, Robert White who was Master of the Choristers at Ely Cathedral - where he succeeded his father-in-law Christopher Tye (1562-1566). After a strong bell-like statement from the full orchestra, a flowing liturgical figure is introduced. There then follows an adagio that features an oboe solo in which the isolation of the character can be felt. The music then rises in tension representing the execution of Latimer and the following bass and tuba interventions utter the final death throes. The harmony then changes in nature to a more ethereal character and heralds the four trumpet parts. In the original performance, two of the players are sited in the gallery in order to exploit the special acoustic of Ely cathedral. The composer was asked to explore the concept of resurrection in the piece and to this end he has designed a coda which employs material earlier heard in the work that represents Latimer’s character. After a short chorale like figure in the brass the opening music returns in a more extended and assertive form. This is intended to reinforce the concept that in death, Latimer became more powerful and therefore ‘alive’.
The London Festival Overture was composed in 1987 and was the result of a commission from the London Borough of Waltham Forest with funding from the Greater London Arts.
The overture is full of rhythmic vitality which is apparent from the very opening and represents the hustle and bustle of an urban environment. The piece contains no less than five principal themes which are heard individually but also combine at various points throughout the work.
The original score (still available) contained a large percussion section that included three sets of drums to be placed from left to right at the back of the orchestra.

‘It is a fine example of an approachable, enjoyable piece of music written for a particular occasion. It deserves our attention’. John France, music critic: British Classical Music: The Land of Lost Content

As a Londoner, Adam has always been fascinated by the city’s history and life and after the composition of his London Festival Overture for the Waltham Forest Arts Festival (commissioned by Greater London Arts), it was only a matter of time before he would set some London poetry to music. This piece was especially composed for the combined forces of the Academy of Great St. Mary’s and the Stapleford Choral Society.
The work is scored for a standard symphony orchestra, S.A.T.B. choir and a baritone soloist.
The piece opens in celebratory mood setting the words of William Dunbar a 16th century poet and the music has traces of Walton’s influence in it. However, it isn’t long before the music turns to a more reflective mood and we hear the words of George Eliot’s In a London Drawing Room. This really explains the idea behind the work in that we scratch the polished veneer of the great city and we find a vast array of lifestyle, history opulence and poverty.
The solo baritone conveys the loneliness that can be experienced even in a crowded environment and he plays his part as the ghost in Shadwell Stairs by Wilfred Owen and also features in Upon Westminster Bridge by William Wordsworth. There is also a ‘Docker’s song’ where the words ‘dirt and grime’ are given a brutal, mechanical treatment. Between the Wordsworth and the Owen, I have inserted a short orchestral interlude. The theme of this is based on the famous Westminster Chimes. This is appropriate as the chimes although strongly associated with London were composed in 1793 for a new clock that was installed in Great St. Mary’s, Cambridge. The piece concludes with the words of the Amy Levy who was the first Jewish woman to study at Cambridge University. Her evocative poem A March Day in London provides some beautiful descriptive lines.


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