Little Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6

ENS.2021.3 | 16′ + 14′
Classical Orchestra:
No. 5:
No. 6: 2(

Little Symphony No. 5: Score

Little Symphony No. 6: Score

Little Symphony No. 5

I. Winter Palace

II. Dark Forest

III. Fairy Tale

IV. Ghost Variations

Little Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral”

I. Mountains: Peaks – Slopes – Scree

II. Fields: Shepherds – Hunters – Tilling the Soil

III. Storm: Woods – Cloudburst – In a Glade

IV. Tombs: Tablets – Inscriptions – Campo Santo

Little Symphonies Nos. 5 & 6

My third pair of miniature symphonies for classical orchestra begins with Little Symphony No. 5, a kind of fantasia on dark romantic images, which seemed appropriate for a tragic fifth, and concludes with Little Symphony No. 6, like Beethoven’s a Pastoral symphony featuring a slightly expanded classical orchestra. 
The opening Winter Palace paints a picture of an imagined Romanov ball, glittering and cruel, filled alike with nobles, oddities, and miseries.
Dark Forest follows, a stroll through the Vienna Woods as afternoon light slowly fades into shadow, dusky hunting horns sounding in the distance.
Next, instead of a conventional, sprightly scherzo, Fairy Tale explores the darker side of Grimm: wolves, child-stuffed ovens, and red-hot iron shoes.
Finally, Ghost Variations whispers rondo-variations from a world beyond, a spooky Victorian seance attended both by spiritualists and rationalist debunkers haunting the spectral conclusion of Little Symphony No. 5.

Each movement of Little Symphony No. 6 “Pastoral” depicts an arcadian natural setting and is roughly divided into three scenes.

Mountains: The symphony begins in a soaring mountain range amongst dramatic Peaks, summits rising from churning bedrock, creating steep Slopes down which stones slide and tumble, creating jagged fragments of Scree.

Fields: Shepherds descend from the mountains, fields stretching out before them as their plaintive pipes mix with the echoing horns of Hunters sounding in the distance. Meanwhile, farmers are Tilling the Soil, renewing their bonds with the land as they work with all that’s come before.

Storm: Mighty Woods, resplendent and regal, tower above the fields. Suddenly a Cloudburst sends everyone scurrying for cover. After the storm breaks, the shepherds are found tending their gentle flock In a Glade.

Tombs: Nature persists, but man passes on. Tablets remember the names of those who came before, and Inscriptions describe their deeds on this earth. In a hushed Campo Santo they rest as great mountains rise and fall around them, insensible to the frail follies of humanity.