Symphony No.3: Of Sexual Songs (2014)

Michael Nyman (UK)
THU September 4, 2014, 9 AM-5:30 PM, 7 PM-11 PM
FRI September 5, 2014, 9 AM-5 PM, 7 PM-11 PM
SAT September 6, 2014, 9 AM-4 PM, 7 PM-11 PM
SUN September 7, 2014, 1 PM-3:30 PM
MON September 8, 2014, 11:30 AM-5:30 PM


Video installation

As is evident from the title, this symphony was composed as a homage to Henryk Mikolaj Gorecki.
Gorecki’s 3rd symphony adds a soprano voice to slow orchestral music while my slow symphony removes a soprano voice from my song cycle I sonetti lussuriosi for soprano and orchestra (2007) and redisposes the vocal part orchestrally.
The texts were taken from a collection of erotic poetry by Pietro Aretino (1492-1556) and I found it curious that Gorecki was happy to have his music, even the ‘sacred’ 3rd symphony, used as film scores – as long as it was not used in sex scenes. As a film composer myself, working with Peter Greenaway, Patrice Leconte, Neil Jordan and Jane Campion, amongst others, it was always a certainty that my music would ONLY be used in sex scenes!
I first met Gorecki at the Warsaw Autumn Festival in 1985, after he heard the Arditti Quartet perform my String Quartet No.1. I gave him a copy of my most recently-released album – The Kiss and Other Movements – and some weeks later he wrote asking me to send him the score of The Kiss. What he did with it I do not know but in the 38 years I have been writing music, he is the only composer who has ever had the curiosity to want to look at my scores.
My film The Art of Fugue which consists of a single 28 minute sequence shot in May 2012 in Plaza Luis Cabrera, a square near my house in Colonia Roma, Mexico City, will be screened simultaneously with the symphony.

Michael Nyman

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