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Exploring Andrew Imbrie's Masterful Symphony No. 3

Andrew Imbrie wrote about his Symphony No. 3 that:

My Symphony No. 3 begins with a prologue which serves as a point of departure. Its central idea consists of a three note pattern stated and repeated at the outset by the trumpets, but surrounded and extended by an irregular succession of bell-like chords in the orchestra. The three-note melodic pattern soon develops into a full musical phrase; but in one’s memory it should always retain its identity—and its association with bell-sounds. The second half of the prologue becomes quieter and more lyrical, as if preparing to move on to other things; but the three-note pattern persists within the fabric of both background and melody, until both dissolve outward into a sustained chord. The first movement begins resolutely with new rhythmic and propulsive material which soon gives way to a lightly scored transition. Out of this suspenseful atmosphere suddenly emerge the violins. This will prove to be important hereafter; at present it is embodied in the broadly lyrical melody that grows out of it. The gesture itself consists of a quick upward sweep from a low sustained note to a high point, and a brief falling off. Its return is deferred until the last moment. The second movement is an aria for clarinet solo with orchestral accompaniment. At the climax the flow is interrupted by a sudden reference to the prologue. Brass tone predominates, the colors are darker and somewhat more subdued, and as the motion subsides the clarinet melody returns in a changed form. In the last movement, as the violins join the melody, it takes on a familiar cast. There is a somewhat chastened form of the old “extravagant gesture,” along with that of the three-note prologue motive. These two melodic cells have merged so that the one completes the other. The materials of the movement are developed and combined in various ways, until the final return to the original prologue. The dramatic effect of the whole work hinges on the prologue, with its motive and its characteristic bell-sounds. These represent a state of affairs to which the music seeks a return. The “extravagant gesture” might be said to represent the effort to bring this about by force of will. But the return cannot be coerced; it is accomplished in its own necessary time. The second movement seems to anticipate the event, but it is premature. Only when the energies of the last movement are reconciled is the desired result achieved. Symphony No. 3 was written for Britain’s Hallé Orchestra. The music was completed in 1970 and the orchestra played the premiere in December of that year.

Which describes his work well.