End of Movement 3

The climax of the third movement.

I’ve said before and I’ll say again this must be one of the most climactic moments in all western orchestral music. It has been extremely challenging although my hardware and software have coped remarkably well. My musical faculties have been sorely stretched to cope with the very end. When you have 4 timpani, bass drum, side drum, field drum, 2 triangles, 2 cymbals and tam-tam (not to mention the castanets and tambourine trying desperately to join in) all rolling at treble forte, the organ at full blast every singer and instrumentalist singing/blowing with all their might, nigh on 500+ musicians busting their guts, you gotta expect a lot of noise. The problem has been to try and make not just noise and if you listen closely you should be able to pick out the voices and maybe the brass and certainly the squealing Eb clarinet as well as the bass instruments vomiting up some sort of C# major/minor arpeggio type thing. The final chord, which is preceded by a long pedal G, is rooted on a C#/G# fifth in the bass with the male chorus, lower wind and brass on a Bb minor chord, the female chorus and upper orchestra on an A minor chord and the upper woodwind wailing out a tremolo Bb to C.

The lead up to the final cataclysm is full of Sorabji’s usual extraordinary invention. There’s a lot of important moments for the tuned gongs and I’ve been imagining them as the voice of Apollo signalling the end is nigh.

Decent audio equipment will improve the listening experience. Turn up the volume and let the room shake.

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