Symphony No. 5 (Sessions)

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The Symphony No. 5 of Roger Sessions was commissioned in 1960 and completed in 1964.[1][2][3] It was commissioned by Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the first movement only was premiered by them in February 1964,[3] the rest not being completed until that December.

It is in three connected movements, with a pause after the first.[2]

It is scored for three flutes, three oboes, four clarinets, three bassoons, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, timpani, percussion, piano, harp and strings.[4]

Andrea Olmstead describes all of Sessions's symphonies as "serious" and "funereal", with No. 5 being one of four with, "quiet reflective endings."[5]


  • Roger Sessions: Symphony No. 4, Symphony No. 5, Rhapsody for Orchestra. Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Christian Badea, cond. Recorded April 6, 1986, at the Ohio Theatre, Columbus Ohio. LP recording, 1 disc: digital, stereo, 12 in. New World NW 345-1; CD recording, 1 disc: digital, stereo, 4¾ in. New World NW 345-2. New York: Recorded Anthology of American Music, 1987.


  1. ^ "Sessions Society Worklist". Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Dialogues and Extensions". American Symphony Orchestra. 1992-3. Retrieved 7 June 2009.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ a b "Eugene Ormandy Information Site". Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  4. ^ "Presser Information for Sessions". Retrieved 7 June 2009. 
  5. ^ Olmstead, Andrea (2012). Roger Sessions: A Biography, p.356. Routledge. ISBN 9781135868925.

Further reading[edit]

  • Imbrie, Andrew (1972). "The Symphonies of Roger Sessions". Tempo (new series), no. 103 (December): 24–32.