Sonata (Hades: God of the Underworld)

Composer: Lester, Ian
Instrumentation: Solo and Piano Instruments: Piano, Tuba
Genre: Contemporary

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The winner of the 2017 Pershing’s Own U.S. Army Band Composition Competition, Sonata for Tuba “Hades God of the Underworld” was inspired by a friend’s request to “write something low” for tuba. Instead of utilizing the lower tessitura of the instrument as one would expect, I warped this idea of lowness by using Hades the Greek God of the underworld as the basis for this programmatic work, with the idea that this underworld is the lowest imaginable realm. A stylistic change and a new aspect of Hades characterizes each movement. The first movement “Hades Rising” depicts the Greek God emerging from the underworld to wreak havoc. The second movement “The Unseen One” is one of a few translations of “Hades” and contains a simple, yet beautiful melody in the solo line. The third movement “Dance of the Dead” is creates a twisted, ominous atmosphere heavily inspired by Franz Schubert’s Erlkönig. The final movement “Wrath of Hades” displays the catastrophic capabilities of the God by showcasing both the soloist and pianist in an aggressive finale.

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Sonata (Hades: God of the Underworld)
Sonata (Hades: God of the Underworld)

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