symphony no. 3 – james barnes

24 May, 2009 § Leave a comment

i remember clearly the first time i heard james barnes’ third symphony. it was kinki university symphonic band on stage for their turn in the open division of the world music contest in 2001. their orchestral line-up was so complete that they lined the stage from end to end.

the shuffling on stage. the silence. the tuba. dark and desolate. so lonely. rage and sadness all mixed up. and loss. i was transfixed. completely.

it was a wonderful performance. it made me want to play the symphony in a really bad way.

when we played the third movement for the very first time, i wept.

motifs in barnes’ third symphony bears fingerprints of shostakovich’s fifth symphony. yet i feel both are magnificent in their own right. and listening to creations such as these reminds me how precious it is to be alive.


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