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Karol Szymanowski: 3. Symphonie

  • in Bb major
  • for tenor, mixed choir ad lib and orchestra
  • 4 4 5 4 - 6 4 4 1 - perc, pno, hp(2), cel, org, str
  • Duration: 24’
  • Instrumentation details:
    piccolo;1. flute;2. flute;3. flute;1. oboe;2. oboe;3. oboe;cor anglais;clarinet in Eb;1. clarinet in B;2. clarinet in B;3. clarinet in B;bass clarinet in B;1. bassoon;2. bassoon;3. bassoon;contrabassoon;1. horn in F;2. horn in F;3. horn in F;4. horn in F;5. horn in F;6. horn in F;1. trumpet in B;2. trumpet in B;3. trumpet in B;4. trumpet in B;1. trombone;2. trombone;3. trombone;4. trombone;tuba;perc;pno;1. harp;2. harp;celesta;organ;violin I;violin II;viola;violoncello;contrabass
  • Choir: SATB
  • Composer: Karol Szymanowski
  • Piano reduction: Arthur Willner
  • Text author: Mawlana Dschalal-ad-din Rumi
  • Translator: Hans BethgeAnn CzerniawskaAdam Czerniawski

Work introduction

Szymanowski based his 3rd Symphony on the eponymous poem by the Persian author and mystic Jalal ad-Din ar-Rumi; perhaps one should read it before listening to the music. Even if not, it is clear that Szymanowski wondrously succeeded in setting the poem’s mysterious, sensuous, exotic atmosphere to music.

“Truth’s luminous wings satiate this night! Sleep not, my consort!” The tenor joins with a chorus which often sings only vocalises, while the violin repeatedly takes the lead in the orchestra.

Symphony No. 3 op. 27 on


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

London (GB)
London SO
Albert Coates

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