Symphony No. 2
The tropical island paradise of our dreams is the central image of the work, a metaphor for those paradises, both terrestrial and spiritual, whose magic is only ever felt fully when come upon suddenly, as if by accident. To pursue, or to attempt to possess, this paradisal magic is to destroy it.
The scoring is for large ensemble with, in the latter part of the work, a chorus singing quotations from The Sea and the Mirror, Auden’s ‘commentary’ on Shakespeare’s The Tempest; as well as a setting of Stevens’s Fabliau of Florida, to show that paradise, even when gained, still has its dark side.
A strong ensemble combined to excellent effect. Peter-Paul Nash’s Symphony No.2 was a world premiere and a commission; it also involved some excellent singing by the CBSO Youth Chorus…
The Birmingham Post
First performed by BCMG conducted by Nicholas Kraemer at the Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham on 15 February 1997.