tágides

(2013) 6′
Instrumentation: symphonic band (pic/flt1.2./ob1.2./eh/bsn1.2./Eb clt/Bb clt1.2.3./Bclt/A sax1.2./T sax/Bar sax/trp1.2.3.4./hn1.2.3.4/trb/Btrb/euph/tu/cb/timp/perc1.2.3.)

Commissioned by Cistermúsica 2013


Program Notes

Performance options

Option A:
Beginning
Speaker/actor, sits in front row in the center of the hall, dressed as a modern day Camões (scuffy hair and beard, leather eye patch, long dark worn overcoat/rain coat, as if he's been out at sea for a long time). He holds a large book, or stack of papers, under one arm and a ship's lantern in the other hand, which he turns on when he rises from his seat after band and conductor are ready. Spot lighted if the hall is dark. As he stands he begins to walk slowly thru the audience towards the back of the hall with the lantern raised as if looking for something far in the distance. His voice should be amplified (face microphone) and he should be speaking so that the words are barely perceptable, as if reciting to himself, parts of Canto I, stanzas 4 and 5, from Lusiadas:
“E vós, Tágides minhas, pois criado Tendes em mi um novo engenho ardente, Se sempre, em verso humilde, celebrado Foi de mi vosso rio alegremente, Dai-me agora um som alto e sublimado, Um estilo grandíloquo e corrente, ....
Dai-me uma fúria grande e sonorosa, E não de agreste avena ou frauta ruda, Mas de tuba canora e belicosa, Que o peito acende e a cor ao gesto muda.”

English translation:
“And you! My nymphs of Tagus' golden stream – since nurtured by your care, from earliest days, I chose your noble river for the theme of many idols chanting forth its praise in simple pastorals and humble lays – deign now, when I attempt to change the scene, with thoughts majestic and sublime to raise my style...
Infuse poetic frenzy in my soul, high sounding strains – no more the shepherd's reed, nor rural pipe nor flute – but let the whole loud clarion's blast resound, ... Let words that burn, and set the breast on fire, proclaim...”

Camões continues walking toward the back of the hall and seaching into the distance with the lantern. Band begins to play before he reaches the rear of the hall and disappears.

Ending
While brass blows air through the instruments (rehearsal letters QQ), Camões reappears this time on a higher level, on the side balcony of the hall, with a dim spot light. He now holds a ship's bell (tuned to Eb) and plays the same rhythm (short-long), as the chimes, lets it ring out (about 10 seconds) and repeats 5 times, each time getting softer, till the light fades or he walks backward out of sight of the audience, if possible into the fog.

Option B:
All of the action done on video with Camões on a ship at dawn, with the lantern. Once music starts the video shows the bow of a sailboat cutting throught the waves. Ending with Camões ringing the ship's bell and fading into the fog.

Option C:
Combination of the actor in the hall and boat cutting through the waves, on video, while the music plays. Ending back with the actor in the hall as in option A.

Option D:
Music only.

 


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