Author Topic: Music inspired by Greek Mythology  (Read 28754 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« on: March 22, 2011, 02:38:46 PM »
I'm not meaning here the soundtracks to 'Clash of the Titans' or 'Jason and the Argonauts' (both of which I like) but more serious scores.
A few that come to mind are 'Morning Heroes' by Arthur Bliss (his greatest work?), Alan Hovhaness's Symphony No 25 'Odysseus', Boehe's tone poems on the same theme, George Lloyd's Symphny No 7 ('Proserpine') and Armstrong Gibbs's 'Odysseus Sympony' - but I'm sure that there are many more.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Szykneij

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 02:45:48 PM »
Offenbach's "Orpheus in the Underworld" is the first that springs to mind.
Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Offline Szykneij

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Men profess to be lovers of music, but for the most part they give no evidence in their opinions and lives that they have heard it.  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Don't pray when it rains if you don't pray when the sun shines. ~ Satchel Paige

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2011, 02:56:02 PM »
Birtwistle is kind of obsessed with the subject - not just the mythology but also the dramatic style.

A few that come to mind OTOH:

The Minotaur
Tragoedia
The Mask of Orpheus
Songs on texts by Sappho, etc
« Last Edit: March 22, 2011, 02:58:20 PM by Lethe Dmitriyevich Shostakovich »
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Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2011, 03:04:06 PM »
Just to start the ball rolling in the sphere of piano music:

Bonis: Phoebé
Bonis: Omphale
Bonis: Echo (Op.89)
Bonis: Narcisse (Op.90)
Bonis: Ariel (Op.129)

and
All from Jensen's Eroticon (Op.44): -
Kassandra
Die Zauberin
Galatea
Elektra
Adonis Klage
Eros
Kipris
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 05:14:29 AM by Ten thumbs »
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Offline Luke

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2011, 03:43:06 PM »
Me! The Chant of Carnus.... (trumpet and orchestra, recording on my thread, page one I suppose, unless I need to upload it again)

Offline westknife

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2011, 05:46:59 PM »
L'Orfeo

Offline listener

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2011, 06:11:43 PM »
LISZT   Orpheus, Prometheus    SIBELIUS Pan and Echo   LEKEU  Andromède
BEETHOVEN   The Creatures of Prometheus
DITTERSDORF  The Transformation of the Lycian Peasants into Frogs, etc. (Sinfonias on Ovid's Metamorphoses
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snyprrr

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #8 on: March 22, 2011, 08:34:26 PM »
Puh-leeze! ::) We aaaallllllll know Xenakis is the only True...


ok,... I won't ;D, but the fact is, his Phlegra is the Battlefield of the Gods. and Keqrops is a Monster, Ikhoor is the Blood of the Gods; and, there's Medea, which is about the most Ancient Greek sounding thing I've ever heard; and Polla ta Dhina (on the EMI 2cd) has a very similar sound.

A Helene is the most (only?) straightforward work Xenakis ever wrote, a choral chant sounding very much like beautiful Ancient Greek, very simple and repetitive.

However, if what you want is Odysseus in the Underworld, check out Xenakis's Ais (1980), for baritone and orchestra. The original recording (ColLegno) is harrowing, as the protagonist plays many parts, and is required to do much very painful sounding things to his voice, including as low as he can go for the Hell Scenes. This is the best out of 3(!!) recordings.

Offline Maciek

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2011, 01:58:24 AM »
Interesting list here:

http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Allegra_Vivace/classical_music_and_greek_mythology

I'll repaste the main part here, for those who don't want to leave the site:

Quote
Igor Stravinsky Oedipus Rex
Alexander Scriabin Prometheus, the poem of fire, op. 60
Richard Strauss Elektra
Richard Strauss Ariadne Auf Naxos
Camille Saint-Saëns Phaéton (1991)
Camille Saint-Saëns Le rouet d'Omphale
Claudio Monteverdi Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria
Claudio Monteverdi L'Orfeo
Claudio Monteverdi Lamento d'Arianna
Karol Szymanowski La Fontaine d'Aréthuse

Actually, all of Szymanowski's Myths should be listed. As well as a few other works by Szymanowski: Demeter, Penthesilea, Metopes (!!!), Agawe.

There is also Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid. And Phaedra!
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 02:00:36 AM by Maciek »

Offline Grazioso

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2011, 05:07:13 AM »
Haven't heard them myself, but Ernst Boehe's series of tone poems Aus Odysseus' Fahrten (From Odysseus' Voyages).

Stravinsky's Appolon
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 05:09:50 AM by Grazioso »
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Offline Ten thumbs

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2011, 05:13:39 AM »
Here are a few more:

Debussy: Syrinx

Schubert: Gruppe aus dem Tartarus
Schubert: Der Atlas

Godard: Magic Lantern Op.50 No.2 Pan

Schytte: Op.63 No.5 Caprice - Pentesilea

Chaminade: Op.37 No.4 Callirhoë
Chaminade: Op.81 Terpsichore
« Last Edit: March 23, 2011, 05:17:37 AM by Ten thumbs »
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

karlhenning

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2011, 05:17:28 AM »
Me! The Chant of Carnus.... (trumpet and orchestra, recording on my thread, page one I suppose, unless I need to upload it again)

(* pounds the table *)

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2011, 06:22:20 AM »
Oedipus Rex by Stravinsky has been mentioned, but there's also the Greek ballets, Apollo, Agon, Orpheus.

A slip here. Agon is a plotless ballet where the only thing Greek is the title ("contest"), and several of the movements are inspired by 17th-century French court dances.
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Offline Maciek

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2011, 10:49:25 PM »
Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2011, 04:23:49 AM »
Been away from the Forum for a couple of days - what a terrific list - thank so much for the suggestions  :)

Mortlemans's 'Homeric Symphony' also comes to mind.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2011, 04:27:19 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online The new erato

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2011, 04:49:38 AM »
Bantock: Sapho

Offline stingo

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2011, 09:15:45 AM »
A tangential note - the Philadelphia Orchestra will be playing Apollon musagete and Oedipus Rex at the end of April. (I'll be there.)

pjme

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2011, 11:47:23 AM »

French composers loved mythology:

Darius Milhaud "l'Orestie" - three parts : Agamemnon - Les choéphores - Les Eumenides
Les malheurs d'Orphée
l'Enlèvement d'Europe
l'Abandon d'Arianne
La délivrance de Thésée
(3 opéras - minute)
Médée

Arthur Honegger
Amphion
Antigone
Callisto
Les noces de l'Amour et de Psyché
Oedipe
Pasiphaé
Phèdre
Pygmalion
( various ballets, operas or "musiques de scène")

Albert Roussel
Bacchus et Ariane
Aeneas
La naissance de la Lyre

and:


Dallapiccola: Ulysse
Enescu: Oedipe

Henze: Die Bassariden

etc.etc.


P.

Scarpia

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Re: Music inspired by Greek Mythology
« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2011, 11:54:51 AM »
Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune

Well, to be technical a Faune is from Roman Mythology.  If it were Prélude à l'après-midi d'un satyr...