Composer's note: SYMPHONY (1977-81) in one movement (aka Symphony No. 1) was begun under the auspices of a grant from the SUNY Research Foundation in 1977. Composition was interrupted by a number of intervening projects but was resumed in the summer of 1981. Though in one continuous movement, various gestures and changes of tempo suggest a conflation of the traditional multi-movement scheme.
There are several "gestural" ideas on which the work is based: repeated or sustained notes or chords, trills or patterns of gradually activated rhythms, a crescendo-diminuendo dynamic pattern, linear patterns becoming rhythmically more active, ostinato patterns of different rhythms in layered textures. The retrograde forms of many of the above patterns are also used and several gestures are combined to create more complex structures.
About halfway through, the sustained chord patterns evolve into chorale-style figures intoned by the brass accompanied by syncopated, rushing figures derived from the ostinato patterns. Frequent use is made of canonic textures and arithmetically-derived durational patterns of progressively longer or shorter notes. In the final section, all the disparate gestures are united in streams of major and minor chords moving at different speeds in various instrumental groups, leading to an affirmative ending.
In 2015 I began reexamining some of my earlier works, making revisions and engraving them in Finale.