Symphony No. 4 (Sessions)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Symphony No. 4 of Roger Sessions was composed in 1958.[1]

It has three movements:

  1. Burlesque
  2. Elegy[2]
  3. Pastorale[3]

It was commissioned by the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra for the Minnesota Centennial, and premiered by the Minnesota Orchestra conducted by Antal Doráti [4] on January 2, 1960.[5]

The second movement's basically slow tempo is interrupted twice by faster episodes. This movement was intended as an elegy for the composer's brother, John, who died in 1948.[6] The finale, also slow, increases in intensity towards its close.[7]


  1. ^ The last page of the score as published is signed with the date of completion.
  2. ^ Opening of Elegy is quoted as example 6 in Imbrie. Imbrie, Andrew (1972). "The Symphonies of Roger Sessions". Tempo (New Series) (Cambridge University Press) (103): 24–32. ISSN 0040-2982. JSTOR 943951. OCLC 1767255. 
  3. ^ Marks Music Corporation 1963 score.
  4. ^ Helm, Everett (May 1960). "Reports from Abroad". Musical Times (Musical Times Publications Ltd.) 101 (1407): 316–7. ISSN 0027-4666. OCLC 53165808. 
  5. ^ "Roger Sessions: Compositions". Retrieved 23 May 2009. 
  6. ^ Prausnitz (2002), Roger Sessions: how a "difficult" composer got that way at Google Books; p. 281; Steinberg, Choral masterworks at Google Books, p. 253.
  7. ^ Badea's recording on New World; Marks Music score.