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a composer with a story to tell

a composer with a story to tell

I. Helios
II. Aphrodite
III. Hermes
IV. Apollo
V. Dionysus

Gaudete Brass Quintet



Gaudete Brass Quintet

Theodore Presser Company
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Please note that these can either be printed in a concert program or spoken aloud by various performers between movements.

In ancient Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is the dwelling place of the gods and goddesses. Legends of Olympus depicts five of these deities.

Helios is the god of the sun. His head is wreathed in light, and he drives a chariot drawn by four horses across the sky each day. In some tales, these horses are winged; in others, they are made of fire. At the end of each day’s journey, Helios sleeps in a golden boat that carries him on the Okeanos, a freshwater river that encircles the flat earth. Before dawn, the boat brings him back to his palace on Mount Olympus to collect his horses and chariot. Then he starts the journey again.

Aphrodite is the goddess of love and beauty. She was born from the sea and brought ashore on a wave of foam. She carries herself with the regal bearing of a queen. Each year, her beauty is replenished when she dives into the sea once more.

Hermes is a merry and mischievous young god with a sharp wit. Zeus, his father, appointed Hermes as the messenger between the inhabitants of Olympus and the people on earth. Hermes goes about his errands wearing golden shoes and cap, both adorned by a pair of wings.

Apollo is the god of music. His brother, Hermes, once played a trick on him by stealing all of Apollo’s cows. To appease Apollo’s anger, Hermes crafted a golden lyre. Apollo was so entranced with this stringed instrument that he traded his entire herd of cows to Hermes for it. In this movement, we hear Apollo picking up his lyre for the first time and strumming it. The brass quintet serves as the lyre, working together to represent the instrument.

Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, wine, and revelry. He carries a pine-cone tipped staff and wears a crown of ivy leaves. He spends his time teaching mortals the craft of growing grapes and making wine. In this movement, Dionysus arrives at a party bearing wine. The party gets more and more frenzied as the partiers drink and dance the night away.

  • HELIOS • 4’30” • 2 tpts/flugelhorns, hn, tbn, tba

    In Greek mythology, Helios was the god of the sun. His head wreathed in light, he daily drove a chariot drawn by four horses (in some tales, the horses are winged; in others, they are made of fire) across the sky. At the end of each day’s journey, he slept in a golden boat that carried him on the Okeanos River (a fresh water stream that encircled the flat earth) back to his rising place. The cyclic journey of Helios is depicted in this short work for brass quintet. The first half is fast-paced and very energetic, while the second half is slow and serene, representing day and night.