Symphony Jāmī


Instruments: 2+4+alt flt 4+1+bss obo 2Eflat clt+4+1+cbs clt 4+1+cbs sar/8 6 4 2/4tym prc 4hrp pno org/bar SSAATTB

New performance of the 2nd Movement (June 2012)

1st Movement

2nd Movement

3rd Movement

4th Movement


This is a complete four and a half hour performance of this wonderful work. This performance was created using Sibelius’s own sound sample set “Sibelius Essentials” to which I added the VSL gongs, VSL solo violin for the important solo violin parts and in the last movement “Canto” I replaced the baritone solo with VSL’s beautiful bass trumpet which includes a touch of vibrato.

It is my very long term goal to not only finish editing the score but to produce a new virtual performance using only the Vienna Symphonic Library and all their bag of tricks. Before I could even contemplate starting that the power and capacity of PCs needs to take one more leap forward and VSL have to finish their Choir sample library (and I have to save up the money to buy it!). But we are talking years rather than decades.

Typesetting the score

I first got Sibelius in late 2001 and in the first flush of excitement in early 2002 I contacted Alistair Hinton, curator of the Sorabji Archive, and rather naively offered my services to typeset any Sorabji orchestral scores that may be laying around. I had at that point typeset several pages of Brian’s Gothic from the Cranz score and thought surely Sorabji couldn't be more taxing. Alistair suggested the Jami Symphony and I readily agreed. I was expecting to receive a previously published version of the score which had gone out of print rather like Opus Clavicembalisticum.

At easter 2002 I received the most gigantic padded envelope and like an excited young boy tore it open to find two enormous A3 miniature scores. I’m sure Sorabji would have liked the humour in that. But my excitement turned to dismay as I turned the pages and discovered Sorabji’s dreadful handwritten MS. Page after page of tiny complex spider crawl. The score is so dense and polyphonically complex for so much of the time that it quickly became monotonous to look at. I certainly couldn’t get the faintest idea from that first glance what on earth it was all about. I really was quite depressed and was on the verge of sending it back to Alistair as being complete madness and impossible to do.

However, I received the score on Good Friday and wouldn’t be able to return it till after the following Monday so decided I might as well try to get the first couple of pages down just to see and hear what it was about. And the beautiful music that came back from those first pages hooked me and kept me there for four and a half years.

It really is the most exquisitely beautiful music that needs to be heard by as many people as possible.

I estimate it took between 1,500 and 2,000 man hours to typeset the first draft of the score. This was undertaken whilst holding down a full time job and having four children grow up around me as well as occasionally typesetting some Havergal Brian scores for light relief.

Apart from tidying the notation of the first movement to match the later movements I have suffered from Jami burn out and with my children becoming more demanding of my time as they get older I do not see myself being in a position to move to the next stage of actual editing and completing the score until at least some of the fledglings have flown the coop and I've got other things that were left in the draw during Jami out of my system. But hey! if your into Sorabji your in for the long haul.

Here's a few example pages.

Mvt 1.2, Mvt 1.20, Mvt 1.180, Mvt 1.200, Mvt 1.224, Mvt 1.241, Mvt 1.253

Mvt 2.1, Mvt 2.16, Mvt 2.58, Mvt 2.82

Mvt 3.1, Mvt 3.25, Mvt 3.37, Mvt 3.74, Mvt 3.143, Mvt 3.193, Mvt 3.231, Mvt 3.232, Mvt 3.265, Mvt 3.267, Mvt 3.272, Mvt 3.302

Mvt 4.1, Mvt 4.3, Mvt 4.5, Mvt 4.14, Mvt 4.30, Mvt 4.36, Mvt 4.43, Mvt, 4.85, Mvt 4.86, Mvt 4.95, last page


Recent Updates

Recent updates (April 2015)  - Organ Symphony No 02 Fuga Triplex - A much extended performance of the fuga triplex from Sorabji's Organ Symphony No 2.

Recent updates (January 2014)  Although I've posted this on the The Virtual Jami Blog already here's  the first hour or so of my second performance of the 3rd movement of the Jami Symphony (.flac) (.mp3) and having now taken an extended break from that enterprise I have created a performance of the fifth movement of Sorabji's 2nd Piano Toccata which you can hear in .flac or .mp3 and read about here.

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© David Carter