A Symphonic Requiem
(Variations on a Theme of Howard Hanson)
Duration: 26 mins.
This work is based on the celebrated principal theme from Hanson’s “Romantic” Symphony. Each variation corresponds to a section of the Requiem Mass as the overall work portrays the emotional curve of the liturgy, leading from grief and anger to ultimate comfort and resolution.
- “It was quite an evening for variations; the opener was “A Symphonic Requiem: Variations on a Theme of Howard Hanson” by Samuel Jones, the orchestra’s composer in residence. Composed after Hanson’s death in 1981 and substantially revised, this is a remarkably successful set of 12 variations in the form of a requiem, displaying Jones’ skills as a master orchestrator. Some of the variations have an almost cinematic feel; others are richly complex, with layers of strings, winds, and brass, with the harp just shimmering through. The composer was present to acknowledge the well-deserved applause.”
---Melinda Bargreen, Seattle Times
- “Endowed with well-rounded melodies, the work, commissioned to honor Hanson, is admirably crafted, noble in design and a proper tribute to the American composer whose music [Gerard] Schwarz has worked hard to promote. The first performance was in 1983, with a substantial revision earlier this year (2002). Thursday night’s performance was the premiere of the revision.”
---R.M. Campbell, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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