Chris Walden: SYMPHONY No.1 "The Four Elements" (Origin Classical, 2008)

I. Gaia (andante) 13:06
II. Hudor (vivace) 8:55
III. Aer (adagio) 9:34
IV. Therma (allegro) 9:10

Total time 40:45

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The four elements of earth, water, air, and fire surround us all of our lives. Most of the time we are not even aware of them. But we see, smell, feel, and hear them. But what kind of emotions do these elements create within us? Probably for each of us different emotions. I believe that the elements affect us deeply. Music affects us in similar ways and that is why I attempted to create music that would have a similar impact on emotions like those of the four elements.

GAIA - The first movement GAIA (earth) starts out with a big bang just like the one that created the universe. Once that bang has rung out the low strings play a long sustaining D-flat. The earth swings at a frequency that gives a sound into space. That frequency is a Db.

HUDOR - The second movement HUDOR (water) opens with the strings playing random-like pizzicato notes that  eventually develop into a musical theme. Just as rain begins with a few drops and then builds into a torrent. Later in this movement one can also hear a single drop falling into water, creating ripples on the surface, and building to waves crashing onto a shore.

AER - The third movement AER (air) commences with a high-register melody played by the violins minus any vibrato, like a light breeze over a desert landscape where there is nothing but sand and wind.


THERMA - In the fourth movement THERMA (fire) I tried to encapsulate everything from a single candle flame which develops into a raging fire storm. The themes of the other three movements also are reprised in this movement.

The orchestra assembled for this recording consists of musicians that I usually work with on recording sessions  for film and television projects as well as players from my jazz big band. (Chris Walden)


Violins: Belinda Broughton (cm), Roger Wilkie, Jackie Brand, Darius Campo,  Roberto Cani, Lily Ho Chen, Kevin Connolly, Nina Evtuhov, Nicole Garcia, Julie Gigante, Alan Grunfeld, Tammy Hatwan, Eric Hosler, Natalie Legget, Jennifer Levin, Phillip Levy, Liane Mautner, Calabria McChesney, Sid Page, Alyssa Park, Katia Popv, Marc Sazer, Tereza Stanislav, Sarah Thornblade, Josefina Vergara, Shari Zippert

Violas: Evan Wilson, Brian Dembow, Alma Fernandez, Matt Funes, Shawn Mann, Darrin McCann, Vickie Miskolcy, Jimbo Ross, Marda Todd, David Walther

Cellos: Steve Erdody, Paul Cohen, Vanessa Freebairn-Smith, Trevor Handy, Dennis Karmazyn, Tim Landauer, Maryann Steinberger, Cecilia Tsan

Basses: Kenny Wild, Nico Abandolo, Kevin Axt, Trey Henry, Dave Stone, Ian Walker

Flutes: Heather Clark, Rob Lockart, Jeff Driskill

Oboes: Earle Dumler, Leslie Reed, Cathy Del Russo

Clarinets: Chris Bleth, Bob Sheppard, Ralph Williams

Bassoons: Ken Munday, Bob Carr, John Mitchell

Horns: Rick Todd, Steve Becknell, Kristy Morrell, Phil Yao

Trumpets: Jon Lewis, Kye Palmer, Kevin Richardson

Trombones: Andy Martin, Bob McChesney, Bryant Byers

Tuba: Bill Reichenbach

Timpani: Don Williams

Percussion: Bob Zimmitti, MB Gordy, Ray Brinker

Harp: Gayle Levant

Piano/Celesta: Alan Steinberger

Composed, conducted, and produced by Chris Walden

Recorded at the Newman Scoring Stage at 20th Century Fox Studios, Los Angeles, Dec 2007

Mixed at Capitol Studios, Hollywood

Recording and mixing engineer: Al Schmitt

Assistant engineer and Protools operator: Steve Genewick

Boothreader: Tim Davies

Orchestra contractor: Gina Zimmitti

Assistant to Chris Walden: Will Forbes

Mastered by Robert Vosgien at Capitol Mastering

Video filmed and edited by Chris Settlemoir

Enhanced CD authoring by MonkeyShark

Photographs: Beate Walden

Cover design and layout: John Bishop

Publicity: Costa Communications

Executive Producer: Chris Walden