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Symphony II (Dzubay)

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David Dzubay

David Dzubay

Subtitle: Through a Glass, Darkly

General Info

Year: 2016
Duration: c. 25:00
Difficulty: VI (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Pro Nova Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - Rental   |   Score Only (print) - $95.00


1. Objects in Mirror are closer than they appear – 10:50
2. Reflections in Mirror may be distorted – 8:30
3. by socially constructed ideas of beauty – 5:40


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Contra Alto Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bongos
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong
  • Log Drum
  • Marimba
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal, small, medium and large
  • Tam-Tam, large
  • Tom-Tom, medium (4)
  • Triangle (2)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes, bamboo
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

from 1 Corinthians Chapter 13:

When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Mirrors are an integral part of the structure and experience of music. To my ears, most effective music has a high degree of coherence, with myriad internal connections and relationships, both obvious and subtle, heard and not-heard though perhaps subconsciously sensed. Though true for short pieces, where simplicity and concise elegance can be so meaningful and convincing, this is at least as important in large scale compositions; indeed, coherence is at the heart of what makes a symphony a symphony. Motives, themes and even long passages may recur in varied contexts, reflecting their core identities yet becoming transformed, as though seen “through a glass, darkly,” “glass” referring to an ancient mirror, likely of polished metal - a mirror that does not reflect a perfect image but rather through which one sees “darkly.” Musical mirrors appear in everything from melody and harmony to rhythm and form, at both small scale and large. Composers have long been fond of using mirroring techniques, including repetition, palindromes, retrogrades and inversions; sculpting forms that recall ideas in a new light; or creating tonal plans with balanced architecture. Further, a performance by a conducted ensemble might be thought of as the functioning of a series of mirrors, reflecting musical ideas from composer to score to conductor to musicians to audience. But like a game of telephone, the music is altered and shaped in subtle ways along the journey from composer to listener, with a multitude of interpretations factoring into the resultant sound.

While my first symphony was programmatic in nature, being dedicated to three influential teachers all of whom died early, this symphony is more in the tradition of absolute music, that is, without programmatic narrative. However, having stated that, I will also suggest that the music is expressive, and a listener is of course free to conjure their own interpretive narrative. Like many symphonies, there is a degree of struggle and resolution, which might lead to associations with the quoted text from Corinthians.

Cast in a three movement fast-slow-fast structure, the symphony focuses on a few central musical ideas - motives, melodies, chords, rhythms - and for some reason the number five, all of which are used throughout the work, transforming into ever new reflections of the initial musical impulses. Mirrors, small and large, abound.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by a consortium led by Scott Weiss and the University of South Carolina School of Music.


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Bowling Green (Ohio) State University Wind Symphony (Kenneth Thompson, conductor) - 19 October 2017
  • Indiana University (Bloomington) Wind Ensemble (Stephen W. Pratt, conductor) – 14 February 2017
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 2 December 2016
  • University of Arizona (Tucson) Wind Ensemble (Chad R. Nicholson, conductor) – 1 December 2016
  • University of South Carolina Wind Ensemble (Scott Weiss, conductor) – 25 September 2016 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Dzubay, D. (2016). Symphony No. 2 : Through a Glass, Darkly (2016) : Wind Ensemble [score]. Pro Nova Music: Bloomington, Ind.
  • Perusal score
  • Smedley, Eric M. "Symphony No. 2: Through a Glass Darkly." In Teaching Music through Performance in Band. Volume 11, Compiled and edited by Richard Miles, 1011-1025. Chicago: GIA Publications, 2018.