Symphony No. 0 by Bart Picqueur. For Concert band. Concert works. Grade 6. Score and set of parts. Duration 0:23:30. Published by Beriato Music (BT.0605-1-338).
Symphony No. 0 was commissioned by the Koninklijke Harmonie St. Cecilia from Zele, Belgium, on the occasion of its 175th anniversary. Phoenix ex cinere suo renascitur (the Phoenix will rise from its ashes) is the motto of this wind orchestra. The mythical bird also takes pride of place in the orchestras banner. The mythology of several continents includes similar stories about a phoenix arising from its ashes. This work by Bart Picqueur is based on the Egyptian and Greek version. In ancient Egypt, the Phoenix occurred in the ritual of Ra, the sun god. Part 1: Fanfare for Ra, the sun god: After a mysterious introduction, the orchestra bursts out with resounding trumpets and exceptionally virtuoso kettledrums. It is a festive ode to the sun god. Part 2: At the source - Song and dance of the Phoenix The Phoenix lives a solitary existence at a source somewhere in Persia. His song and dance are of such a beauty that Ra, the sun god, stops his chariot every day at noon to enjoy the bizarre spectacle. Part 2 opens with an impression of the source, with a modal sound field of clarinets and piano. The song is melodious and sounds slightly oriental. The dance is capricious and virtuoso. Part 3: Death and rebirth When the Phoenix has grown old, he arranges his own death. He makes a nest out of incense and other fragrant herbs in the highest tree. When he has settled down in it, the sun sets the nest on fire. The old Phoenix perishes in the flames. A young strong Phoenix is born (reborn) from the ashes. Part 4: Flight to Heliopolis - ceremony for Ra The young Phoenix wraps the remains of the nest of its father in an egg of myrrh. As soon as he is strong enough to carry it, he takes it to Heliopolis (the city of light, which still exists near Cairo) where he sacrifices it in the temple of Ra. The work ends with a chorale in honour of St. Cecilia, the patron saint of numerous musical societies. The majestic final chord, however, is not what is seems. It all starts again from the beginning, the circle is complete (just as the number of the symphony).