Anthony Ritchie: Symphonies
Conducted by Marc Taddei
Symphony No.1 ' Boum', op.59 (1993)
* I - largo-allegro-moderato-allegro-largo
* II - allegro energico
* III - adagio (for the innocent of Bosnia)
* IV - allegro
The title of this symphony comes from the ominous tam tam stroke that opens the first movement, a mysterious echo heard by two characters from E M Forster's famous novel, 'A Passage to India', when they enter the Marabar Caves.
Symphony No.1 'Boum' was completed while Ritchie was Composer-in-residence with the Dunedin Sinfonia in 1993, and first performed the following year, under the baton of Sir William Southgate. It has received numerous performances, and in 1998 was recorded for Concert FM by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra.
Symphony No. 2 'The Widening Gyre', op.95 (1999)
I - 'Stratagem of Trumpets'
III - 'Mi-1st'
IIII - 'Double Helix'
This symphony was commissioned by The International Festival of the Arts It explores the millennium theme from an historic and poetic angle and takes as a starting point famous lines from 'The Second Coming' by William Butler Yeats:
"Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed on the world . . ."
Written in 1921, when the old order in Europe was breaking down, it suggests a revolution or rotation in history (the gyre) will bring about a 'second coming' of an important historical figure, and the dawn of a new Millennium. Yeats' vision of the new world order to come is not, however, optimistic. He sees the coming of a 'rough beast' with a 'lion body and the head of a man', a cold and heartless creature that might be equated with certain infamous and autocratic leaders in the 20th century.
The 'gyre' or revolution is represented in the symphony by a rolling, sliding timpani sound, accompanied by bass drum and tam tam at the start of the work. This idea becomes an important motif and appears at the very start. Following the 'gyre', we hear a 'life and death' theme that begins like a cradle song (the birth of Christ), rises, and then twists downwards in a chromatic line. This theme provides most of the material for what follows.
Classical / New Zealand Composer / Orchestral
Also available from Kiwi Pacific Records - Anthony Ritchie: Chamber Works CD SLD-113