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Philip Glass

Publisher: Chester Music

Symphony No. 3 (1995)
commissioned by the Würth Foundation for the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc
Sub Category
String Orchestra
Year Composed
26 Minutes
Programme Note
Philip Glass Symphony No. 3 (1995)
Dennis Russell Davies, the new music director of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, asked for music specifically for the ensemble. The only suggestion he made, however, was an important one. Since there are 19 string players, he asked me to think about a piece using them all as individual (or solo) players.

The work fell naturally into a four-movement form and even given the nature of the ensemble and solo writing, seems to have the structure of a true symphony, though in the core it is the symphony for strings.

The opening movement, a quiet, moderately paced piece, functions as prelude to movements two and three, which are the main body of the symphony. The second movement mode of fast-moving compound meters explores the textures from unison to multi-harmonic writing for the whole ensemble. It ends when it moves without transition to a new closing theme, mixing a melody and pizzicato writing. The third movement is in the form of a chaconne, a repeated harmony sequence. It begins with three celli and four violas, and with each repetition new voices are added until, in the final movement, all 19 players have been woven into the music. The fourth movement, a short finale, returns to the closing theme of the second movement which quickly re-integrates the compound meters from earlier in that movement. A new closing theme is introduced to bring the symphony to its conclusion.

Preview the score:

  • Ensemble
    Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
    Marin Alsop
  • Ensemble
    Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
    Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra
  • 27 MAY 2015
    Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante
    Musica Practica / Camerata del Prado
    Tomás Garrido, conductor
  • 27 MAY 2015
    Duputacion Hall of Alicante, Spain
    Musica Practica SL
  • 18 APR 2015
    Minimalism Unwrapped
    Kings Place, London
    O/MODERNT Kammarorkester
    Hugo Ticciati, conductor
  • 03 DEC 2014
    Archa Theatre Prague, Czech Republic
    Ensemble Inégal
    Adam Viktora , conductor
  • 28 OCT 2014
    National Philharmonic Hall Vilnius, Lithuania
    Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra
    Cepalte , conductor
  • 05 JUL 2014
    Saaksmaki, Finland
    Festival Orchestra
    Lisakkila , conductor
  • 26 JUN 2014
    Rotterdam, Holland
    Sinfonia Rotterdam
    Danst, conductor

    Other Dates:
    27-29 June; 3-6,10-12,18-20 July - Rotterdam, Holland
  • 21 FEB 2014
    Cello Concerto Country Premiere
    Symphony No. 3
    St. Carolyn by the Sea Country Premiere
    Forum Neue Musik
    Frankfurt, Germany
    HR Sinfonieorchester
    Nicolas Altstaedt, cello; André de Ridder, conductor
  • 14 FEB 2014
    Sala koncertowa Filharmonii Naradowej, Warsaw, Poland
    Orkiestra Symfoniczna Filharmonii Narodowej
    Jacek Kaspszyk, conductor
  • 04 FEB 2014
    Onassis Foundation Athens, Greece
    Orchestra Camerata
  • 27 SEP 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    Angele Dubeau & La Pieta
  • 27 SEP 2013
    Centquatre Paris, France
    Orchestre de Chambre de Paris

    Other Dates:
    28 September - Centquatre Paris, France
  • 11 SEP 2013
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
    Anne Manson, conductor
  • 09 JUL 2013
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
    Anne Manson, conductor
  • 23 APR 2013
    Macon, GA
    Mercer University
    Ward Stare, conductor
  • 16 APR 2013
    Bratislava, Slovakia
    Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • 15 APR 2013
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Euphonia Music Festival
    Simon Capet, conductor
  • 12 APR 2013
    Longmont, CO
    Pro Music Colorado Chamber Orchestra
    Cynthia Katsarelis, conductor

    Other Dates:
    13 April - Longmont, CO
  • 02 FEB 2013
    Los Angeles, CA
    Los Angeles Music Center
    Scott Speck, conductor

    Other Dates:
    3 February - Los Angeles, CA
  • 16 NOV 2012
    Quebec, QC, Canada
    Les Violons du Roy
    Alain Trudel, conductor
  • 15 NOV 2012
    Louisville, KY
    The Louisville Orchestra
    Jorge Mester, conductor

    Other Dates:
    16 November - Louisville, KY
  • 18 OCT 2012
    Limerick, Ireland
    Irish Chamber Orchestra

    Other Dates:
    19 October - Sligo, Ireland
    20 October - Kells, Ireland
    24 October - Galway, Ireland
    25 October - Mallow, Ireland
    26 October - Listowel, Ireland
  • 21 JUL 2012
    North Adams MA USA
    Bang on a Can Festival
  • 27 APR 2012
    Showville Barcelona, Italy
    Orchestra Sinfonica della Provincia di Bari
    Carlo Boccadoro, conductor
  • 04 FEB 2012
    English Chamber Orchestra
    Robin O'Neill, conductor
  • 16 NOV 2011
    North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford
    English Sinfonia
  • 17 SEP 2011
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
    Anne Manson, conductor
  • 14 SEP 2011
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Manitoba Chamber Orchestra
  • 29 OCT 2010
    Krakow, Poland
    Orkiestra Filharmoni Krakowskiej
  • 18 JUN 2010
    Chicago, IL
    Joffrey Ballet

    Other Dates:
    5 September - Chicago, IL

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