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Moussa, Symphonie n° 1 "Concordia" Moussa, Symphonie n° 1

Posted by Durand Salabert Eschig on 02 May 2017

SYMPHONY FROM MONTREAL

CLOSING CONCERT OF SEASON 2016-2017 / SPECIAL EVENT FOR THE 375TH ANNIVERSARY OF MONTRÉAL.

Kent Nagano and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal invite you on 31 May 2017 to an unusual symphonic experience, the fruit of the meeting between Samy Moussa, a young Canadian and internationally acclaimed composer and conductor, and Moment Factory, a multimedia artist, also known worldwide. The Symphonie n° 1 "Concordia" by Samy Moussa, a unique work will be premiered on the occasion of the celebrations of the 375th anniversary of Montreal. 
To complete this program, the famous symphony "Du nouveau Monde", as a promise of the future, a link between the past and the future.

Concert information

Have a look at the score


Samy Moussa about his symphony

How was this project conceived? Can you tell us about your relationship with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Kent Nagano?

My artistic collaboration with Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra started back in 2008. I have composed several pieces for them, but more recently Kent Nagano wanted a new large-scale, extended composition, so I came up with the idea of writing a cycle of symphonies. The first, Concordia, is for Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Then I was commissioned to write this symphony as part of the 375th anniversary of Montreal, my hometown. There is not a literal link between this symphony and the city, but there is a more emotional connection. It’s the same type of connection I have with Montreal. So it is not like hearing Montreal, but rather hearing the music of someone from Montreal. It’s an important nuance because that alone allows me to hope (humbly) that I can reach a kind of universality, since that is only possible when it can be adapted to several realities.

Where does the title Concordia come from? Is there a hidden meaning?

Concordia refers to the motto of Montreal, “Concordia salus”, which in English means “wellbeing through harmony”. Harmony, the union of hearts, a metaphor for the orchestra and for music, seemed like a good adjective to describe this composition which opens a symphonic cycle.

What are the distinctive compositional features of this Symphony?

I wanted all four movements of this first symphony to be very different but unified by neighbouring harmonic processes and a fairly noble expression. The first movement, long and slow, requires only woodwind, strings and timpani; this gives the movement a homogenous sound that directs listening towards the harmony and lines rather than the orchestration. The second movement is a complete contrast with the entrance of percussion, piano and harp. With regard to time, there is an ambivalence between musical time without any rhythm punctuated with outbursts and lively, rhythmic moments. The third (and longest) movement, Nocturne, is at the heart of the piece; it is slow and solemn. The fourth and final movement follows the others attacca towards a fast-paced music where melodies are put on top of each other over and over until an explosion and a pause in time, to later rediscover a new kind of excitement that culminates in a bold and conclusive ending.

What will you be working on next?

I’m finishing a piece for piano and orchestra for Tzimon Barto, then I’ll be starting a concerto for string quartet and orchestra.


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