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Pythikos Nomos For Alto Sax And Piano

By Brian Elias

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Alto Saxophone and Piano
Composed by Brian Elias. Book Only. Composed 2001. 28 pages. Chester Music #MUSCH61347. Published by Chester Music (BT.MUSCH61347).

Item Number: BT.MUSCH61347

ISBN 9780711985698.

Pythikos Nomos is scored for alto saxophone (or clarinet in A) and piano.

It was at the request of John- Edward Kelly that Brian Elias first decide to write a work for saxophone and piano. 'Pythikos Nomos' (Pyhton's Law)is an ancient Greek musical form, invented by Sakadas in 586 BC for the Pythian games to describe the battle between Apollo and the monster on the slopes of Parnassus. It is reputedly the first known genre of programmemusic.

Brian Elias decided that the characteristic sounds of the saxophone would be well suited to ancient Greek rhythms, and was interested in the implications of this form as an early sonata shape. According to legend, Apollofought and defeated the monster on the site, which came to be called Delphi. He returned to Delphi in triumph after a period of purification escorted by priests singing hymns of praise. Several versions of the instrumental formexist following the general storyline. Brian chose to base his piece around six sections: (i) Peira (introduction), (ii) Kataleusmos (Apollo incites the monster to battle), (iii) Imabikon (the battle), (iv) Spondeion (hymn ofvictory), (v) Katachoreusis (victory dance) (vi) Syrinxes (the last breaths of the dying monster). The central hymn of victory incorporates a quote from the first Delphic Hym, a surviving fragment of ancient Greek music. Thiswork was written for John-Edward Kelly and Bob J.W.Versteegh, who gave the first performance on 1st July 1988 at the Wigmore Hall, London. Duration c.10 minutes. The score is in C.

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