I dedicate this symphony to Lev Zhurbin, мy son, very talented composer and performer of the viola part in the premiere of this work.
I have written five symphonies to date — the first four all had Italian subtitles — The First was “Sinfonia Concertante”, the Second “Sinfonia Giocosa”, the Third “Sinfonia Romantica”, the Fourth “Sinfonia Tragica”. The Fifth symphony has been subtitled “Sinfonia Bizarra” (or, in English, the Bizarre Symphony) — why is this?
Indeed the work is quite atypical — it contains fifteen movements. It features four soloists — piano, violin, viola and cello, and in a way you can think of it as a Concerto, as each soloist has an expansive and virtuostic part. Additionally, the musical language varies widely from classical to sonoric to aleatoric, from symphonic form to rock and roll. This symphony contains many quotations, pseudo-quotations and self-quotations. And, without a doubt, it contains a certain program element, albeit it is hidden — though sometimes quite obvious — but I do not want to divulge or discuss it. Let this be a challenge for the musicologists of the future.
My Fifth symphony was written and premiered in 2010 by the State Symphony Capella of Russia, conducted by Philipp Chizhevskiy. I’m very grateful that this symphony will be published by the respected Moscow publishing house “Kompozitor”. I’d like to express a debt of gratitude to the charitable foundation “Art, Science & Sport” for their help in the publication of this score.
Composer Alexander Zhurbin