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Symphony No 10


Symphony No 10 was composed in a fairly natural way, the material stated at the beginning constantly leading me from one section to the next. The result could be likened to a series of variations, each contrasting with the last. There is no longer a ‘standard’ format for a symphony; in classical formats there would usually be four movements, but Sibelius changed all that with his mighty seventh symphony which has but one movement in the space of little more than twenty minutes. My tenth symphony also plays for some 20 minutes non-stop, and follows a dramatic narrative which to me is vitally important; I have always looked on my symphonies as novels, with characters in the form of themes or motifs which return and develop.

One also chooses a form to suit the emotional range of the music one wishes to compose—or perhaps the form emerges from the material one has. I suppose that was how No 10 came into being. I knew the piece had to have a wide emotional range but I also knew it had to be relatively concise and straightforward for a listener to follow. If all this sounds excessively technical, I would counter such suggestions by saying that for me the emotional content is everything; if music doesn’t move us, it really is of no value at all.

from notes by Christopher Gunning © 2019


Gunning: Symphonies Nos 2, 10 & 12
Studio Master: SIGCD593Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Track-specific metadata for SIGCD593 track 1

Recording date
6 April 2019
Recording venue
BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff, Wales
Recording producer
Christopher Gunning
Recording engineer
Mike Hatch & Mike Cox
Hyperion usage
  1. Hyperion sampler - January 2020 (HYP202001)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: January 2020
    Download-only sampler
  2. Gunning: Symphonies Nos 2, 10 & 12 (SIGCD593)
    Disc 1 Track 1
    Release date: December 2019
    Download only
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