1. Allegro – Vivace
3. Allegro con brio – Presto – Lento e maestoso – Presto
This symphony, which was composed between 1954 and 1957, is written for normal symphony orchestra without harp or percussion. It is in three movements.
The first movement has two main subjects, the first of which is played by the violins, violas, flutes and bassoon at the very outset of the piece. Later on, the second subject is first stated by the oboe, accompanied by violins. Towards the end of the movement the tempo abruptly changes and the same material is developed as a scherzo.
The second movement, elegiac in character, is a set of variations based on a series of chords more than a melodic theme.
The last movement is based on three main themes and could be loosely described as a rondo.
The symphony is dedicated to the Royal Liverpool Society.
Symphony No. 3 was commissioned by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society; First Performance Royal Liverpool Orchestra / John Pritchard / Royal Festival Hall, London 2nd December 1957.