Kirke Mechem


Kirke Mechem small image

symphony no. 2

Commissioned by Josef Krips for the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra

Four Movements
Duration: 32 minutes
Orch: 3333 4331 Timp 4 Perc Hp Strings
Premiere: 1st version, March 29, 1967
Final version, January 15, 1969
both by San Francisco Symphony,
Josef Krips, Conductor
Recording: Russian Disc 005
USSR Radio-TV Concert Orchestra
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes, New York


Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra
Corrick Brown, Conductor

1 Sonata beginning

2 Quodlibet* beginning

3 Canzona con variazioni begins #90

4 Rondo begins 1 measure before #240


“ . . . an enormous, brilliant success . . . great music in which one can recognize the individual, his character and his moods.”

— Murad Kazhlayev, Conductor USSR Radio-Television Orchestra, in Pravda

“ . . . fluent idiomatic orchestral writing. . . . Mechem’s wholly positive, optimistic quality speaks through the symphony in an admirable manner.”

— San Francisco Chronicle

“The composer was brought out for four curtain calls. There is a great deal of lyricism, but there are biceps too in its surging rhythms and ringing instrumental combinations.”

— Sacramento Bee

“. . . extraordinary craftsmanship, invention and construction . . . the work of a master.”

—Josef Krips — quoted by United Press International

* A Quodlibet (Latin for “what you will”) is a “humorous type of music in which well-known melodies are combined in an advisedly incongruous manner.” The sea chanties and fa la las which dart in and out have their origin in Mechem’s cantata The Winged Joy.