Hubert S. Howe, Jr.
Hubert Howe is Professor of Music at Queens College of the City University of New York. He is currently President of the American Composers Alliance, a position he has served in since 2001.
Each of my symphonies is based on a set of related materials for which I can see numerous possibilities for working things out, thus leading to several different movements. Symphony No. 3 is based on a series of trichords, tetrachords and pentachords that all relate to the diminished seventh chord. The instrumentation, consisting of four woodwinds, four brasses, piano and strings, allows different materials to be presented in distinct instrumental groups, and when combined, to keep the threads clear. The piano, which has several solos in the quieter moments, combines with all the other groups.
[In the first movement, there are two principal ideas, the first based on pentachords and presented in a faster tempo, and the second on tetrachords and trichords. After a slow introduction, these materials are presented in a series of evolving sections, followed by an extensive development that combines different parts of each and then the two together, reaching an intense climax. This is followed by a transformed recapitulation and conclusion.]
II and III to be presented at this year's festival:
The second movement presents two overlapping strands of music, identified by orchestration. The first strand begins in the winds and brass, and the second in the strings. Each strand proceeds by adding new elements to the preceding passage, or by extracting elements from it. Thus, there are many lines that are repeated, each time in a different context. The movement builds to a climax and then recedes.
The third movement is based entirely on tetrachords. The first two sections run through the basic forms used, and the middle section runs through basically all different combinations and permutations of these materials. After a transformed recapitulation, the work ends with a brief coda.