Symphony n° 8

Composed in


Large Orchestra (with 5 Solo Horns)

18′ (unfinished)

First performance
March 6, 2004 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (B). The Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Arturo TAMAYO (movement 1 and2).

March 30, 2010 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels (B). National Orchestra of Belgium, conducted by Pascal ROPHE (movements 1 and 2; first performance of movement 3)

Commissioned by
Ars Musica Festival

Dedicated to
Miel Van Attenhoven

Recording available
at VRT (Flemish Radio and Television)

Private Archive

Luc on Symphony n° 8, movements 1 and 2 :

This work was commissioned by the Ars Musica Festival in Brussels, the first two movements were premièred by the Netherlands Radio Symphony Orchestra under Arturo Tamayo on March 6, 2004 in Brussels. Arturo Tamayo will also conduct the first performance of the full version, in Brussels again (Flagey), during the Winter Edition of Ars Musica 2007, on november 28 with the Flemish Radio Orchestra.
As far as I can say now, the piece will be (in accordance to Beethoven’s Eight) some kind of an “orgy of sound”, with real predominance of the 5 Horns. There will be four movements, of which so far the first and second are completed and have been first performed last March 6th. The first movement consists of an introduction followed by a slowly build up climax around a two-part horn melody. The process is interrupted a little by two little duos (first piccolos and then Tuba with Contrabassoon) and one solo (muted trumpet). The idea is some kind of slow “march” referring to Alban Berg’s op. 6 n° 3 and at the same time Anton Webern’s op.6 n° 4, but everything spectralized in a somewhat extreme way… The “slow” (second) movement are full of very soft but delicate sounds, while the Horns (again) unfold slow melodic material. Finally the Horns (supported very gently by the Trombones and by the Violas) play some kind of Chorale while the other winds blow into “tuned bottles”. At the same time the percussion section (including Piano & Celeste) play chords reminding bell sounds -quite a constant in my recent works- while the Violins with Crotales & Vibraphone make high little sounds going up constantly. The movement ends in a fade out. The score is dedicated to Miel Vanattenhoven, producer at the Flemish Radio and a respected friend since many years. He likes my music very much and I think he’ll be very happy this time with some of the orchestral “tricks” which I use…

Luc Brewaeys, 2004