Hughes, Jerald Kirk
Master of Music
Symphonic Movements is an orchestral composition in three movements: Presto, Lento, and Allegro con brio. The harmonic and melodic material is based on several forms of the octatonic scale. Themes are basically variations on two germinal ideas, one conjunct: mvt. I, measures 4,5, and one disjunct: mvt. Ill, measures 25,26. The disjunct theme appears briefly in the first movement, assumes greater importance in the second movement, and is the main theme of the final movement, thereby giving the work a cyclic aspect. The first movement is a large A-B-A form, in which the first A consists of three short passages, the B consists of one extended passage, and the final A is three more short passages. The movement goes through a series of tonal areas, including the tritone axes of C/F# and D/G#, ending in D. The second movement is a simple A-B-A form, in which the first A section is repeated unchanged in the final A section. This movement begins in D, moves to B flat for the B section, and closes in D. The final movement is an original form which combines elements of both sonata and rondo. Its tonality is G, and the tritone axis G/D flat plays an important role throughout.