Symphony No. 1 for winds and percussion (grade 6)
My Symphony No. 1 is set in three movements, fast-slow-fast, with each movement using traditional formal structures. The first movement is in sonata allegro form. The pitch material for each theme is comprised of a hexachord, and the two hexachords taken together present all twelve pitches of the chromatic scale. These two sets of pitches form the basis for the pitch material throughout the piece.
The second movement is a sort of chaconne, with a long, plaintive melodic line that is repeated six times over an increasingly complex accompaniment. The third movement is a rondo that includes two main ideas. These two ideas are contrasted by a section in which the bass line creates a repeating pattern using the same pitch material and a section featuring imitative development of the oboe melody. The work climaxes and concludes with a return to some of the first movement material. The piece was commissioned by Marietta Paynter in memory of her husband (and my teacher), John P. Paynter, and it received its premiere on May 8, l998, at Northwestern University with Stephen Peterson conducting.