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This is an updated recital version with a totally new backing track featuring synths, sub-bass, guitars, etc. Commissioned by Fabian Ziegler. The two soloist parts are identical to the orchestral version, but in place of a live orchestra there is a MIDI backing track for all three movements.

Steeped in Greek mythology and folk music this high energy double concerto for percussion, piano and orchestra is now presented in this new performance edition. Following a request from the commissioner, Dame Evelyn Glennie, a MIDI realisation of the orchestral parts of View From Olympus was created to enable performance by two musicians with audio playback. A digital download also contains various mixes for rehearsal purposes; an invaluable resource for those wishing to perform this concerto.

Commissioned by percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie, View From Olympus has become one of my landmark works. This double concerto takes listeners on a journey through the world of Greek percussion styles and playing techniques.The first movement features an adapted transcription of improvised Greek violin music (by Stathis Koukoularis), the second movement is a tribute to my two children, and the third movement is a wild depiction of the legendary Mænads celebrating their god Dionysos with song, music and dance.

The world premiere of this version was given by Dame Evelyn Glennie (perc), and Philip Smith (piano), at Cadogan Hall in London during the 2015 BBC Proms. MIDI programming of Digital Orchestra by David Downes (funded by Creative New Zealand)

The Furies were avenging spirits of retributive justice whose task was to punish crimes outside the reach of human justice. Their names were Alecto, Megaera 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 two minutes into the movement).

To Yelasto Paithi (The Smiling Child) 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

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 Maenads 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 Maenads 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.

Forming an optional encore to the concerto is Fragment (percussion version), for vibraphone and piano.

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View from Olympus (piano and percussion concerto)

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Project Details

View from Olympus (piano and percussion concerto)

Concerto for Solo Percussion, Solo Piano, and Orchestra

Commissioner: Dame Evelyn Glennie

Instrumentation: perc / pf soli + 2+pic.2.2(Ebcl).2 / 4.3.3.1 / timp.2perc / hp / str

Premiered by Evelyn Glennie (perc), Philip Smith (pf), and the Halle Orchestra with Mark Elder (cond), on July 26, 2002 in Manchester, UK

Difficulty Level:
Virtuosic
Duration:
20:30
Type:
Original
Instrument Tags:
Mixed Percussion
Percussion
Piano
Flute
Piccolo
Oboe
Clarinet
Bassoon
French Horn
Trumpet
Trombone
Bass Trombone
Tuba
Timpani
Harp
Violin
Viola
Cello
Double Bass
Winds
Brass
Strings
Vibraphone
Marimba
Simtak
Dulcimer
Bass Steel Drums
Steel Drums
Bell Tree
Chimes
Mark Tree
Triangle
Finger Cymbal
Octobans
Tom Toms
Cymbal
Crash Cymbal
Splash Cymbal
China Cymbal
Hi-Hats
World
Piano/Keyboards

Full Instrumentation

Piccolo
2 Flutes (Flute 2 doubling piccolo)
2 Oboes
2 Clarinets in Bb (Clarinet 1 doubling clarinet in Eb)
2 Bassoons

4 Horns in F
3 Trumpets in Bb
2 Trombones
1 Bass Trombone
Tuba

Timpani (4 drums)

Percussion 1 (1 or 2 players): triangle, snare drum, mark tree, glockenspiel, tubular bells, marimba (4.3-octave instrument), cow bell, vibraphone, cymbals (splash, medium crash, china crash), bass drum, tambourine (mounted and played with sticks), 3 high tom toms (different pitches)

Percussion 2 (1 or 2 players): glockenspiel, triangle, tubular bells, cymbals (splash, medium crash, china crash), marimba (4.3-octave instrument), bass drum, tam-tam (large), finger cymbals (approximate pitch D6), vibraphone

Solo Percussion: vibraphone, marimba (5-octave instrument), simtak, dulcimer (santouri), bass steel drums, wind chimes (2 or 3 sets), bell tree, mark tree, triangle, finger cymbals, drum station (4 octobans, 4 tom toms, cymbals (trash, splash, medium crash, china crash and a cluster of smallest-possible splash cymbals), hi-hat)

Harp

Solo Piano (should be amplified)

Violin i
Violin ii
Viola
Cello
Double Bass

Resources

Score

View From Olympus Official Playlist

Recording