"This premiere recording of the music of Steve Elcock is an absolute delight. It is thoroughly recommended to anyone interested in hearing a 'new', exciting, utterly enthralling voice in contemporary classical music. I would also urge you to check out the extracts of his music on his website (I can't stop playing the stupendous, breathtakingly brilliant 'Manic Dancing', inter alia.)."
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 recorded on May 5 and 6 2017 by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Paul Mann and released as TOCC 0400 on the Toccata Classics label.
The first movement is an angry juxtaposition of ideas that can never be reconciled and leads to a mighty outburst on the whole orchestra followed by a brief, violent coda.
The second movement is an ironic scherzo, in ABA form. In the central section a deliberately banal tune is repeatedly knocked out by the orchestra at increasingly close intervals. When the first part returns, 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.
This is followed without a break by a movement that is as long as the other two put together. It is a combination passacaglia and development of the symphony's main idea of conflict between two tonal areas a semitone apart.
© Copyright Steve Elcock 2024