Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)

Interpretive Directions in the Third Symphony for Piano Solo

This page lists the interpretive directions that Sorabji wrote in the manuscript of Third Symphony for Piano Solo (1959-60; 144 pp.). There is, at least for now, no intention of providing similar pages for each of his works. It is simply a matter of using one work as an example of his often detailed and unusual directions. The wording used in the present case is only moderately flowery; it is in his nocturnes (or in the sections in nocturne style) that Sorabji tends to be at his most creative.

All directions have been edited to eliminate mistakes and incorrect or superfluous capitalization. For instance, Sorabji often uses a colon instead of a comma between two related indications (e.g., sordo: oscuro). Initial capital letters are used when the direction is to be understood more or less like a tempo marking. Ellipses indicate that the indications appear close to each other in the same bar or context.

Page numbers are padded with zeros to enable proper sorting. Unfortunately, initial capital letters sort before lowercase ones.

Click on a column heading to sort, then shift-click on other headings to sort on multiple columns.
Surround strings with quotation marks for specific searches. Refresh the page to revert to the initial order.

Page/System Direction
Page/System Direction
1/1 Brioso con impeto
4/3 Legatissimo, oscuro
4/4 legato possibile
6/1 fulgurante
9/3 declamato
9/4 lunga
13/2 Rallentare molto
14/3 pp sotto voce, senza “nuances”
22/4 sordamente
23/1 legato possibile
24/3 abbastanza lunga pausa
25/4 secco
28/4 pp subito ... dim. pppp
31/4 soave, dolcissimo ... pochiss. molto
33/2 sordamente
35/2 sordamente
36/2 non arpeggiare!
38/2 dolciss. e leggiero
38/3 acuto, vivo, declamato
39/1 dim. molto ... Rallentare assai
41/2 Accelerando con ira fanatica
41/3 Lasciare diminuire per alcune battute a piacere ... oscuro, sordo
44/4 pp subito ... legatissimo possibile
47/1 Ravvivendosi
47/3 dim. molto ... morbidissimo, sonorità piena e dolce
49/1 Mormorando oscuramente
51/4 liscio, scorrevole
54/2 pp sordo
54/3 esitante, più sordo
54/4 ppp velato
56/3 Vivace molto, secco
58/2 legato possibile
61/2 Fulgurante
61/3 infuriandosi!
62/3 pp sotto voce, oscuro
65/3 oscuro, sotto voce
82/1 In un ambiente di calore voluttuosa
82/3 morbidissimo e dolcissimo
83/3 ppp (possibile)
84/1 Legatissimo ma pp
85/1 Legato possibile
85/3 Rallentare passo a passo ... a piacere
86/1 Sordamente
87/1 p subito
89/3 Lasciare vibrare ... Abbastanza lunga
90/1 Frammentato
93/1 Penumbra oscura e misteriosa
93/3 Risvegliato
94/4 legatissimo e liscio
103/3 stringere passo a passo
103/3 piccola pausa
106/1 Sordo, oscuro
110/4 [piccola] {The word is inside brackets in the manuscript and refers to a “pausa” (fermata).}
117/1 Quasi saltando
120/3 sordo, oscuro
121/1 [un] pochino più chiaro
121/3 deciso
121/4 pesante
122/1 Brioso e maestoso, pomposo anche
123/3 quasi saltando
124/2 Liscio, legatissimo, soave
125/1 Capriccioso
125/3 Disparendo
128/4 legatissimo possibile
129/3 languido ... legatissimo
129/4 leggiero
131/2 accelerando abbastanza
132/3 Tranquillo e legatissimo sempre
133/2 quasi saltando
133/4 non troppo lunga {with regard to a fermata}
135/2 legatissimo e languido
136/1 Insinuante, con somma fantasia
137/4 Oscuro, sordo
139/1 pp subito ... Scorrevole, con somma fantasia
140/2 Raddoppiamento del penultimo tono del tema
142/4 martellato, con enfasi
143/1 crescendo molto
143/3 Vivace quasi presto ... con veemenza ... Abbastanza lunga pausa
144/1 Prestissimo volante
144/3 secco
144/3 9.45 p.m. XXII. II. MCMLX. A.D. Tempo molto cattivo, pioggia e vento
Last modified: 2021-05-21
© Marc-André Roberge 2021
Sorabji Resource Site (SRS)
Faculté de musique, Université Laval, Québec

The contents of this website devoted to the English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji may be freely used for documentary purposes in a research context provided that due credit is given but may not be mirrored on any other server. Links to external or third-party websites cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, valid or persistent, and their contents cannot be guaranteed to be, or remain, accurate or appropriate.

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