Dawn of the Symphony Project

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The symphony has fascinated composers down through the ages & has become one of the most enduring of orchestral forms, along with the concerto & sonata. Countless composers- including the likes of Mahler, Sibelius, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Bruckner & Glass, have embraced its opportunities for musical expression, making the form uniquely theirs.

From our unique stand point- 300 years since the first symphonies were written & performed- one can only marvel at how the symphony has developed; that works such as Mahler’s Eight Symphony & Brian’s First Symphony- both requiring over 100 performers & going for over an hour each & deal with lofty, philosophical, subject matter- are derived from a form whose early works involved only three instrumental parts, utilised less than a dozen players, & often had a duration of less than ten minutes. When put in that light the development of the symphony has been a staggering achievement, built from the endeavours of many composers over the last four centuries, & which still has an attraction for composers today.

Returning to the symphony’s humble beginnings, the Ady Ensemble is proud to announce the launch of Dawn of the Symphony: a long-term project which will see the ensemble explore the symphonies of the early symphonists of the Eighteenth Century. This is an exciting journey for the ensemble, which we hope to share with you as we discover some of the earliest symphonic writers- their symphonies & their life stories- through which we will discover more about the origin & subsequent development of the symphony.

We will look at the very early symphonists, such as- Sammartini, Brioschi, Ricci & Andre Zani. We’ll also look at those who helped the form to flourish in other European countries, such as CPE Bach, Monn, Wagenseil, Boyce & Abel, who led the way for the young Haydn, who was soon to be followed by Mozart, Beethoven, & Schubert.

The official launch of the project coincided with the ensemble’s performance of CPE Bach’s Fourth (String) Symphony, in A major, at their concert, Broken Glass: a concert of transformation, which was held on the 8th of November, 2014. This will also coincided with the launch of the ensemble’s other long-term project: Emerging Classics.

We hope that you’ll stay with us as we journey through the work & lives of the early symphonists.

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