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World Premiere
Royal Albert Hall, London
The Philharmonia / Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
Composer's Notes

Symphony No.5 was written for the Philharmonia Orchestra, with whom I have built up a strong relationship over the years. As a result, I wrote with the individual players very much in mind, most especially the deliberately challenging 1st Trumpet and 1st Horn parts for John Wallace and Richard Watkins respectively.

The Symphony is based on material from my youth orchestra piece Chat Moss (1993), but behind both pieces is a hidden source: two plainchants from the Liber Usualis - the 'Haec dies' Easter music and 'Domine audivi' from Habakkuk 3:3. The music of Sibelius, in particular its possibilities of self-generating form, was also central to my thinking, having recently studied and conducted Sibelius's Symphonies 6 and 7 with several orchestras.


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