(Written in 1998)
Overture for Orchestra.
Dedication: To Peter Davies, celebrating his contribution to the orchestra in his 80th birthday year [Also Peter Denny (leader) and Adrian Brown (conductor) twenty years with the orchestra, which was also celebrating it¹s 120th anniversary]
Commissioned: by Newbury Symphony Orchestra.
pic.18.104.22.168 / 4.3.3.tba / 3timp.perc(3) / vln1.vln2.vla.vlc.db.
[Perc – glock / s.dr / b.dr / tamb / trgle / w.blk / s.cym]
Timing: c.5 mins.
The title of this piece has a three-fold meaning, reinforcing the purpose of the celebratory nature of the commission. It refers to the “Jubilate Deo” – the canticle consisting of Psalm 100 “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord” – but also implies the verb “to jubilate” which the Oxford English Dictionary gives as “Exulte, make demonstrations of joy”; and jubilee – and anniversary. The latter being highly appropriate as the piece celebrates Peter Davies” lifelong association with the Newbury Symphony Orchestra as well as Adrian Brown and Peter Denny’s twenty years as conductor and leader respectively. All of this in the orchestra’s 120th anniversary year!
The piece itself is, I hope, straightforward. An introductory “flourish”; a brass fanfare (both ideas repeated and extended); and a dance-like theme with strong off-beat rhythms. The piece is basically nothing more than these first three elements. Even the middle section, consisting of a quasi-fugue and its development, is based thematically on the opening fanfare.
My hope was that the piece would give orchestras something fun to play and make palpable a sense of celebration.
- December 1998: Newbury Symphony Orchestra, conductor Adrian Brown.
- June 2000: Northamptonshire Youth Orchestra, conductor Graham Tear.
- March 2004: Newbury Symphony Orchestra, conductor Adrian Brown.
“Celebratory music had been commissioned from Samuel Becker (b.1973) to mark Peter Davies’ contribution to the orchestra. Jubilate began with an exciting fanfare followed by a syncopated dance-like theme, both developing into an interesting fugal section. It was an excellent idea to allow us a second hearing before the interval. Samuel Becker is a name to look out for.”
Grisell Davis, Newbury Times.