In Agenda

18th International Brass Festival - Italian Brass Week

13 Luglio

World Premiere - "The Titans" Soloists with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra

World Premiere - "The Titans" Soloists with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra

Thursday 13 July

21.15H

Palazzo Pitti

 

THE TITANS

Ouverture Fantastica for Brass Ensemble and Orchestra by Francesco Traversi

World Premiere performance, commissioned by the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

* in collaboration with OF - Opera di Firenze Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

 

Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Director: Philipp von Steinacker 

 

Soloists:

Otto Sauter, Piccolo Trumpet

Rex Richardson, Trumpet 

Pacho Flores, Flugelhorn

Luca Benucci, Horn

Frank Lloyd, Horn

Alain Trudel, Trombone

Jamie Williams, Trombone

Jonathan Reith, Trombone 

Steve Rosse, Tuba

Roland Szentpali, Tuba

 

Music by Francesco Traversi

 

“The Titans” is a symphonic overture that refers to greek mythology, simply representing the pretext to bring to light the modern necessity to have a rebellious attitude against all superior forces (destiny, nature, divinity, currency, despotic power, etc.) that dominate man, oppresses life’s passions and liberty itself. 

The form, placing its foundation on a romantic concept, in today's society still finds relevance and many correlations in which man sees his perennial misfortune and struggle against abusive and oppressive forces: against society and its laws, written or not, and its moral practices (G. Byron, C. Bukowsky); against the powerful, the caste and the 'tyrants' (V. Alfieri, F. Schiller, R. Saviano); against human nature itself, that with its incomprehensible principles, binds with human desires (G. Leopardi, R. Carver). Many succumb to these adverse and strong forces without fighting or resisting, effectively renouncing a change of the status quo, while extraordinary men rebel, fully aware of being destined to vanquish their enemies. Strong and exceptionally endowed people with their extraordinary qualities, their great ingenuity, their moral resolve, excelling in an activity, a discipline, in art, elevating themselves high above the others, challenging superior beings to the last, to the end of the world, or against superior forces as divine intervention, destiny, natural forces and tyrrany that manacle and obstruct the freedom of liberty and will. 

Titans indeed, but moulded with precious metals!

 

THE STORY

Prologue

According to Hesiod's "Theogony", the youngest of the mythological Greek Titans, Kronos, son of Uranus (the Sky) and Gaia (the Earth), castrated his father who, fearful of losing his dominion of the world, had imprisoned his own children. Kronos then, already married to Rhea, feared that a time would come in which his children would dethrone him, and not being able to kill them because of their immortality, he "devoured" them as soon as they were born. Rhea was able to save the sixth child, Zeus, by hiding him on Earth and giving Kronos a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes instead. Zeus, after having grown on the Earth, constrained his father to "regurgitate" the five swallowed children to then fight united against Kronos and the other Titans (the Titanomachy) who, in the end, were banished to the abyss of Tartarus and guarded by Hecatoncheires (the Hundred-handers).

Poem

Before they were relegated to the Tartarus after the grisly battle with Zeus and the Olympians, Kronos, together with the other Titans, reigned supreme over the earth in the first period of happiness in humanity's history. A golden age in which men "lived like Gods, without worries of the heart, far and away from pain and suffering, in peace and abundance" (Hesiod, Works and Days). 

In reality, Kronos, wise and sovereign as he was, didn't "devour" any of his children. On the contrary, having the capacity to manipulate time, to protect them from the restlessness of despotic power and terrestrial tyrrany, of which Zeus couldn't distance himself from, he left them in a space-time dimension where they could do no harm to themselves or anyone else. It was Zeus who, having grown up on the earth and absorbed the malice, cynicism, and egoism of men, after having exposed and denounced his father to his brothers, overthrew Kronos and established his omnipotent reign over all creation, limited only by the steadfast law of fate, becoming then, supreme custodian of order and world harmony, of which he would be both King and Judge. But power can also wear out the Gods! Brother and husband of Hera, Zeus is in fact more devoted to carnally unite with Goddesses and mortal women, giving origin to innumerous progeny of Gods and Heroes, charged with maintaining order and harmony among men, who, even after an extraordinary evolution over the centuries, are still not able to find peace and serenity of a time long gone. Wars, maladies, injustices, wickedness, hate, and intolerance are the demons that pervade the known universe. And Nature, like Zeus, seems to be incapable to grapple with such a horrendous spectacle.

Epilogue

From dark and gloomy Hades in which he was imprisoned, Kronos could longer ignore the screams of pain that came from his beloved mother earth, Gaia, who felt betrayed by the way Zeus had treated the Titans and the Giants, also her sons, and by the negligent way the God of the sky and thunder was governing all creation, had offered her help to attempt to restabilize order and peace. 

The time had come, then, to assemble the forces. Kronos stopped time in order to evade his guardians (Hecatoncheires) and escape from Hades with the other Titans. Returning to Earth, after having changed the rules of the passage of time, the only thing that, along with humanity's destiny, the Gods could not influence, engaged in a furious battle with Zeus and the other Olympians, the cause of terrestrial demons, who one by one succumbed to disorientation because of the absence of the certainty of space-time laws.

Zeus, alone by now, accepted defeat. Kronos pardoned his son and in a warm embrace invited him to rule together over all creation in a pact: to restabilize Nature's order with a new concept of time, making men live within and appreciate the eternity of the moment in the infinite present in which the pulsation of the passage of time can open another dimension from within (Evdokimov).

The new order now sees the present freed of its vacuity, from the drama of time's relentless passage. Man would no longer be dominated and consumed by time and would no longer have the desire to "kill it" but instead fully enjoy every instant without worrying about counting the moments that pass, perceiving it as an eternal place. A setting where one could encounter his own God, a place in which feelings of hate, violence, egoism and abuse of power find themselves settled. Time is suspended; order is preserved.

 

THE STRUCTURE

The Overture is in one movement without a solution of continuity, concerning only the epilogue of the story above, and is ideally divided into 5 parts:

 

  1. ESCAPE FROM HADES. KRONOS STOPS TIME. 
  2. THE RETURN OF THE TITANS 
  3. THE BATTLE AGAINST ZEUS AND THE POWER OF THE GODS
  4. KRONOS'S FORGIVENESS 
  5. THE NEW ORDER 

 

The Concert will be held at the Ammannati Courtyard of the Pitti Palace and is included in the Summer Season of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino.

 

Info and tickets

http://www.operadifirenze.it/events/philipp-von-steinaecker/