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Kenneth Leighton

Publisher: Novello & Co

Symphony No. 3 (1984)
Novello & Co Ltd
Soloist(s) and Orchestra
Year Composed
30 Minutes
Programme Note
Kenneth Leighton Symphony No. 3 (1984)
Kenneth Leighton: Symphony No.3

This work was commissioned by the BBC. It is scored for tenor solo and orchestra. Its first performance was broadcast in a BBC Radio 3 lunchtime concert on Tuesday March 26, by Neil Mackie and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley.

Symphony No. 3 is a three-movement work lasting a little under half an hour, and it displays the composer's highly developed lyrical invention and mastery of form and orchestration. Like the previous symphonies - dating respectively from 1964 and 1974 - it is a personal landmark for him, a statement that music can and must communicate with audiences without need of compromise by the composer. Leighton has produced a work of passion and eloquence.

  • Ensemble
    Royal Scottish National Orchestra
    Neil Mackie, tenor; Raphael Wallfisch, cello
    Bryden Thomson
  • 09 SEP 2005
    Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, Cultural Center of the Philippines
    Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra
    Eugene Castillo (tenor); William George, conductor
  • 08 FEB 2003
    Symphony No. 3 US Premiere
    Sacramento, CA
    Camellia Symphony Orchestra
    William George, tenor; Eugene Castillo, conductor

The texts … all glorifying the art of music, determine the work's admirable proportions, forming the backbone to a three-movement format that is overtly passionate, yet wholly conise in its argument. Above all, this allows Leighton's highly expressive lyrical invention to predominate … the evocative strands of ounterpoint colour the rich orchestration and form the basis of an inexorable surge to the overwhelming climax in the finale.
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