More Greek Myths

I wrote this set of pieces for Susan Nigro and Mark Lindeblad. They included it on their 2008 recording, Original Tunes for the Big Bassoon! The music is available from Jeanné through this link.



This set of pieces, a sequel to "Four Greek Myths," (also for contrabassoon and piano) is a progression from the Apollonian to the Dionysian.

Apollo, the god of the sun, represents the ideas of individuality, critical reason, the artistic possibilities of human beings, and the concept of perfection. He is the god of self-control.

Artemis, Apollo's twin sister, is next. She is called "the virgin huntress," so the 6/8 meter of the piece refers to the musical tradition of the hunt. The ascending arpeggios are like arrows flying through the air. The music is self-contained: Artemis is content living only with the animals on her island.

Heracles, the only mortal in the lot, inhabits the middle point in the set of pieces. While all the gods on either side get to bask in tonality (and Aphrodite is dressed here in rich 7th chords), Heracles labors with a tone row, made more difficult by irregular meters, dotted rhythms, and a relatively slow tempo.

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, follows Heracles. She represents everything that Artemis is not. Aphrodite, represented by the sexy voice of the contrabassoon, rises up from the "sea foam" of the piano's rhythmic ostinato.

Dionysus, who ends the set, is the god of wine. He is associated with intoxication, pleasure, loss of individuality and dissolution of boundaries. He is the god of excess, and is ruled by passion and instinct.

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