Symphony No 3

Steve Elcock


SYMPHONY No 3, op.16

(Picc, 2Fl (2=Afl), 2Ob (2=CA), 2Cl, Bcl, 3Bsn, Cbsn, 4Hn, 3Tpt, 3Tbn, Tba, Timp, Perc, Stgs)

playing time : 36'

This symphony occupied me for the best part of four years, though during part of that time I was busy looking after the renovation of the farm where I've lived since 2007 with my wife Annick and our three sons. The symphony was recored in May 2017 by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann and released on the Toccata Classics label.


The first movement is an angry juxtaposition of ideas that can never be reconciled and which lead to this outburst and coda.

1st movement

This is an ironic scherzo, in ABA form. This extract is from the central section, in which a deliberately banal tune is repeatedly knocked out by the orchestra at increasingly close intervals.

2nd movement (i)

After the return of the first part, an accelerando culminates in a timpani solo which ushers in a coda in which the banal theme from the central part takes on a new, tragic aspect.

2nd movement (ii)

This movement is as long as the other two put together and is a combination passacaglia and development of the symphony's main idea of conflict between two tonal areas a semitone apart. Here's a passage from the passacaglia...

3rd movement (i)

... and here's how the symphony ends.

3rd movement (ii)

© Copyright Steve Elcock 2018