The Glorious Lamp of Heaven, the Sun
The higher he’s a getting;
The sooner will his Race be run
And neerer he’s to Setting.
— Robert Herrick

Sun (Symphony No.3)

was first performed at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester on 6 January 1993, with Adrian Leaper conducting the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra

The work was inspired by Robert Herrick's famous quatrain. Malcolm Lipkin himself wrote of the symphony, which he has dedicated to his wife Judith, that 'the work's spiritual essence is also concerned with that other arc of man's own race: the morning of life, its zenith and its evening.'   This idea of an ‘arc’ also impacts upon the score’s structure as it is conceived in a single arch formation.

Tempo magazine described it as a 'a work that reaches out in an imaginatively large way towards the universality and sheer scope of the poetic and programmatic thought that inspired it.

The Independent spoke of a work that was a 'real discovery. In its economy and energy, its sense of purpose and of power in reserve, this continuous 25-minute movement is a far more uplifting experience than many a more superficially complex score.'

Film-maker Jesse Lawrence has written, directed and produced a short film about the composition process and the place that inspired the symphony, Lime Kiln Forest, near Crowborough, Sussex