Panegyric

for symphony orchestra

A Panegyric is a hymn of praise - the working title of this piece was originally Paean which means much the same thing. Composed in 2012, it was originally a competition piece, the brief being to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a well-known Midlands orchestra. Sadly this piece was not  placed in the final - but perhaps the fact that the entries were adjudicated by orchestra members on tour over the PA system of the tour bus (and that Panegyric begins with 40 seconds of pianissimo - they probably thought the track had been deleted!) might be considered a mitigating factor...

The movement is in a stately triple metre throughout, but always with an element of 4 against 3 cross rhythm. Short motivic fragments evolve into longer phrases, gaining stature and momentum as the piece develops, and arriving at a majestic tutti at the climax topped off with a Walton-esque chordal passage for the full brass. Like my Minimalis pieces, which it predates by a few years, the material is much based on minimalist repetition and micro-variation, but the architecture overall is highly structured and proportioned in a quasi-symphonic manner.

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