Jason and the Golden Fleece
Instrumentation: Sextet Instruments: Euphonium, Tuba
The ﬁrst movement, Jason and the Argonauts, represents the crew of heroes on the "Argo," the ship built to carry them in their quest for the Golden Fleece.
The Symplegades, or clashing islands, impeded the entrance to the Euxine Sea. These small rocky islands ﬂoated on the surface of the water, and in their tossings and heavings occasionally came together to crush anything caught between them. Jason, on the advice of Phineus, let a dove ﬂy through the islands ﬁrst, and when they clashed, just missing her, Jason passed safely through on the rebound.
Medea was the beautiful and seductive daughter of the Colchian king who owned the powerful sorceress and gives Jason a charm to help him complete the tasks her father demanded that Jason do to win the Fleece. One of those tasks, Sowing the Dragon's Teeth, required that Jason yoke two ﬁre-breathing bulls to a plow and sow the teeth of the dragon which Cadmus had slain and from which would grow a crop of armed men. When this belligerent army rose from the ground, Jason, using the charm Medea had given him, caused such confusion in the ranks of his assailants that they turned on each other until there were none left.
The ﬁnal movement, The Golden Fleece, comes as a tribute to the success of the group of heroes in their long and difﬁcult quest.
Elizabeth Raum has had a career in music that has spanned over 45 years beginning in Halifax where she played principal oboe with the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra before coming to Regina when her husband was offered a position in the Music Department of the University of Regina in 1975. She joined the Regina Symphony Orchestra at that time and from 1986 until her retirement in 2010, played principal oboe as a member of the Chamber Players.
Raum has established herself as one of Canada’s most eminent composers with commissions coming from such important performing groups as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Symphony Nova Scotia, the Calgary Philharmonic, the CBC, the Hannaford Street Silver Band, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival, Music Toronto, Concours de Musique du Canada, Scotia Festival, Eckhardt-Gramattee National Competition, Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Regina Symphony Orchestra, Maritime Concert Opera, as well as many other performing organizations and individuals. Her music is played all over the world in concerts and festivals throughout Canada, the US, Europe including Rome, England, Portugal, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Russia, China and Japan.
She has also been the featured composer for the James Madison University New Music Festival in Virginia, the Colours of Music Festival in Barrie, Ontario, the International Women’s Brass Conference in Toronto, and International Tuba Conferences in Budapest, Minnesota, and Regina. She was awarded the Canadian Composer Award by the Canadian Band Association, has three times received the award for Best Musical Score by the Saskatchewan Film and Video Showcase Awards and won in the Best Classical Composition category for the Western Canadian Music Awards as well as being nominated in the same class two additional times. She has also been presented with the Commemorative Medal for the Centennial of Saskatchewan and the 125th Anniversary of the Confederation of Canada medal and in 2010 received the Saskatchewan Order of Merit. In 2004 she was given an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters From Mt. St. Vincent University in Halifax Nova Scotia. She received a commission from the Maritime Concert Opera, supported by the Ontario Arts Council, to write a full length opera, Time of Trouble, which was premiered by Opera Nova Scotia in December, 2016 and received a full production by Opera Nova Scotia the following year. Her three other operas, The Final Bid, The Garden of Alice, and Eos: The Dream of Nicholas Flood Davin were all recorded by the CBC.
An extremely prolific composer, her works include 4 operas, over 80 chamber pieces, 18 vocal works, choral works including an oratorio, several ballets, concerti and major orchestral works. She enjoys a reputation of being one of Canada’s most ”accessible“ composers, writing for varied mediums and in remarkably diverse styles.
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