Apollo : for wind octet & percussion
by Paul Stanhope (2000)
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Apollo for wind octet and percussion is in one sense a tribute to Igor Stravinsky in his more Apollonian guise. It was written as a result of a period of study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. The title also makes reference to the Apollo space program - it was during these few years (1969-1971) that Stravinsky's life and mine overlapped.
The instrumentation of this work is the same as the Stravinsky Octet for Winds with the addition of a single percussion instrument. This work takes a fragment from the second movement of Stravinsky's piece and derives all its pitch material from it. In a sense it is music behind a mask: objective, detached and whimsical. It takes the tiny fragment of Stravinsky's material in new and unexpected directions but at the same time pays homage to the master.
The insistent percussion part at the beginning and end of the work adds a ritual element to the piece which is intended to mark the passing of another great individual: Professor Peter Platt. Professor Platt's passion for Stravinsky's music influenced generations of students at the University of Sydney and I thought that there is no better way of paying tribute than to dedicate this work to his memory.
Instrumentation: Flute, clarinet in B flat/bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 trumpets in C, tenor trombone, bass trombone, 1 percussion. (NB Same as Stravinsky Octet with addition of simple percussion part)
Duration: 8 min.
Difficulty: Advanced — Professional or tertiary student level required
Dedication note: Dedicated to Peter Platt
First performance: 2 Jul 00. Guildlhall School of Music, London, UK
Performances of this work
2 Jul 00: Guildlhall School of Music, London, UK
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