Just got back from Paris. I'm energized for creativity!
The opening movement juxtaposes the gothic and Renaissance styles of architectures that create two different attitudes that both conflict with and compliment one another. The contrast between the serious and the whimsical is what makes Venice, Italy such a magical place. These elements are the basis of the attitude of the first movement.
There is nothing like the peaceful tranquillity of a gondola ride in the moonlight. The way it bobs and weaves it's way through the canals in the heart of Venice is an experience one will never forget. The second movement is intended capture the serenity of a floating tour of this magical city.
The grand Palace of the Doge of Venezia is the inspiration for the finale. It was also the seat of the government's legislative and judicial branches. It is both spectacular and disturbingly creepy once you get to the Council of Ten that sent many to prison based on nothing more than gossip. Those found guilty took their final walk across the bridge of sighs where they experienced their last glimpse of sunlight before being confined in a dungeon for the rest of their life. The dark side of the palace is overcome by the majesty of the architecture which dominates the finale.
A symphony can't be created without sketches. I stayed at Hotel Concordia located just off Piazza San Marco several times over a period of years. I composed the material in the middle of the night so I could experience the Piazza without the distractions of crowds of tourists. The style of Venetian architecture is an important component of the symphony.