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Work

2002
  • double concerto for percussion, piano and orchestra
  • By:
Duration:
20' 00"
Instrumentation:
2222;4331; timp; 2 perc. ( triangle, snare drum, mark tree, glockenspiel, tubular bells, marimba,cowbell, vibraphone, cymbals -splash, medium crash, china crash), bass drum, tambourine, 3 high tom toms (different pitches), finger cymbals; harp; strings; solo piano; solo percussion ( vibraphone, marimba, simtak, dulcimer, bass steel drums, wind chimes (2 or 3 sets), bell tree, mark tree, triangle, finger cymbals, drum station (4 octobans, 4 tom toms, 3 paddle drums, cymbals (trash, splash, medium crash, china crash, plus a cluster of smallest-possible splash cymbals), hi-hat)
Contents:
Four movements: 1. The Furies 2. To Yelasto Paithi 3. Dance of the Maenads 4. Fragment (optional encore for vibraphone and piano)

Samples

text/html,311k Score (311k) Pages 121-125© Promethean Editions
audio/mpeg,467k Recording (467k) From 5:36 - 6:36 NZSO conducted by Marc Taddei with Michael Houstoun (piano) and Pedro Carniero (percussion)© Rattle Records
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Programme Note

I The Furies – The Furies were avenging spirits of retributive justice whose task was to punish crimes outside the reach of human justice. Their names were Alecto, Megæra and Tisiphone. This movement contains an adapted transcription of a fragment of improvised playing by one of my favourite Greek violinists, Stathis Koukoularis (It appears as a solo for violin about 2 minutes into the movement).

II To Yelasto Paithi (The Smiling Child) – This is the closest I’ve come to expressing – in a way not possible with the spoken or written word – the feelings inspired by my precious children, Emanuel and Zoe. In this movement is also caught the summer I spent working on the concerto at my parents’ house just outside the village of Nea Michaniona – a house perched on a cliff which looks down on the Aegean and up to Mount Olympus.

III Dance of the Mænads – Draped in the skins of fawns, crowned with wreaths of ivy and carrying the thyrsos – a staff wound round with ivy leaves and topped with a pine cone – the Mænads roamed the mountains and woods, seeking to assimilate the potency of the beasts that dwelled there and celebrating their god Dionysos with song, music and dance. The human spirit demands Dionysiac ecstasy; to those who accept it, the experience offers spiritual power. For those who repress the natural force within themselves, or refuse it to others, it is transformed into destruction, both of the innocent and the guilty. When possessed by Dionysos, the Mænads became savage and brutal. They plunged into a frenzied dance, obtaining an intoxicating high and a mystical ecstasy that gave them unknown powers, making them the match of the bravest hero.

John Psathas, 2001

Commissioned:
The composition of this work was funded as original research by Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and commissioned by Evelyn Glennie.
Difficulty:
Advanced
Influences:
Dedication:
Dedicated with the utmost love and gratitude to my wife and children, my parents and my sister

Performance History

World Premiere for P: View from Olympus; Glennie, Smith, Halle c. Elder; 260702 26 Jul 2002 Performed by Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Philip Smith (piano) with the Hallé Orchestra conducted by Mark Elder at the Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK as part of the Friendship Royal Gala Concert
26 May 2005 Performed by Lenny Sakofsky (percussion), Michael Houstoun (piano), Christchurch Symphony Orchestra/Marc Taddei at the Christchurch Town Hall, in Christchurch.
Christchurch Symphony    Marc Taddei    Michael Houstoun
13 Dec 2005 Performed by Evelyn Glennie, Oleg Akkuratov, and the St Petersburg Philharmonia, conducted by Martyn Brabbins, at the St Petersburg Philharmonia Hall, in St Petersburg.
21 Jun 2006 Performed by Lenny Sakofsky (percussion), Michael Houstoun (piano), Auckland Philharmonic and conducted by Marc Taddei at the Auckland Town Hall, in Auckland.
Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra    Marc Taddei    Michael Houstoun
14 Apr 2007 Performed by the Vector Wellington Orchestra, conducted by Marc Taddei with soloists Michael Houstoun (piano) and Lenny Sakofsky (percussion)
Marc Taddei    Michael Houstoun    Orchestra Wellington
21 Jun 2008 Performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei with soloists Michael Houstoun (piano) and Pedro Carniero (percussion)
Marc Taddei    Michael Houstoun
27 May 2009 Performed by Michael Houstoun (piano), Pedro Carneiro (percussion), and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by Marc Taddei. This was broadcast on Radio New Zealand Concert in May 2009
Marc Taddei    Michael Houstoun    New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
12 Feb 2010 Performed by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Alexander Mickelthwate with Jenny Lin (piano), Aiyun Huang (percussion).
26 Jun 2010 Performed by Alexej Gerassimez (percussion), Nicolai Gerassimez (piano) and the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Kristjan Järvi, at the Konzertscheune Ulrichshusen, in Germany.
14 Jun 2013 Performed by Evelyn Glennie, Joanna McGregor, and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orhcestra, conducted by Kistjan Järvi, at the Marktplatz,Halle an der Saale, in Germany.
18 Jun 2013 Performed by Evelyn Glennie, Joanna McGregor, and the MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orhcestra, conducted by Kistjan Järvi, at the Philharmonie, Cologne.
09 Oct 2013 Performed by Evelyn Glennie, Dawn Hardwick, and the British Sinfonietta, conducted by Anthony Gabriele at the St David’s Hall, Cardiff.
10 Oct 2013 Performed by Evelyn Glennie, Dawn Hardwick, and the British Sinfonietta, conducted by Anthony Gabriele at the Lighthouse, in Poole, England.
04 Sep 2014 Performed by Evelyn Glennie (percussion), Stephen de Pledge (piano) and The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Hans Graf, at the Auckland Town Hall.
Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra    Stephen De Pledge

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