Samuel Jones

Symphony no.3 (Palo Duro Canyon)

Instrumentation*3 *3 *3 *3--4 3 3 1--tmp+5--hp, cel--tape of wind sounds--strings
DifficultyChallenging for all players, but not beyond the capabilities of a good community orchestra.
CommentsDescriptive of the canyon outside the city of Amarillo, Texas. A single movement, though with internal suggestions of slow movement, scherzo, etc. Challenging and rewarding to perform in the same way that Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade is; descriptive and appealing to the audience in the same way that Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite is. But not just entertaining--has a definite spiritual quality. A brief but rather difficult tuba solo. Gorgeous English horn solo. I have conducted it twice with different orchestras, and am programming it again next season; it continues to grow on me. Fairly conservative musical language; soft ending.
SourcesCarl Fischer
ExtrasA one-hour TV documentary "And There Will be Sounds" done by the PBS station in Amarillo (and available to other PBS stations--which can help promote your performance) on the commissioning and composition of the work, concluding with a live performance in an amphitheater at the Canyon. Mr. Jones is very articulate and engaging in this documentary. A CD of this performance is also available from the Amarillo Symphony (coupled with a fine performance of Scheherazade).
HistoryCommissioned by conductor James Setapen and the Amarillo Symphony, perhaps for some particular anniversary. Has been performed a number of times in the US and at least once in South America (where the subtitle had to be expunged, since "palo duro" is apparently an obscenity in colloquial Spanish). Response of musicians and audience always very favorable.
ContributorDavid Daniels

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