Geryoneis (score/parts) - REED5
Composer: Harris, Joshua
for reed quintet: oboe, clarinet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet & bassoon
by Joshua Harris - American composer
Anne Carson's beautiful translation of the surviving fragments of Stesichorus's tale of Geryon, the red monster of Greek mythology, served as the inspiration for Geryoneis (The Song of Geryon). Red Meat (Carson's title) tells from the monster's perspective the story of Hercules killing Geryon and his dog and stealing Geryon's prized herd of red cattle. This Geryon, however, is a pitiable monster and one in appearance only. He is the innocent victim of Hercules's murderous rampage-the hero and the monster having switched roles.
Geryoneis was conceived as sixteen musical fragments--matching Carson's sixteen fragments of verse--interwoven into a dynamic tapestry of different-each-time textures and harmonies. As with much of my music, I'm especially interested here in overlapping layers that may or may not complement one another, which are well-suited for evoking the kind of jagged non-linearity I associate with the memories of traumatic experiences. Specifically, the competing themes at play are otherness and family, tragedy and heroism, violence and pastoral peace, heaven and hell.
I. Geryon (tutti)
II. Meanwhile He Came (bassoon)
III. Geryon's Parents (clarinet and saxophone)
IV. Geryon's Death Begins (bass clarinet)
V. Geryon's Reversible Destiny (English horn)
VI. Meanwhile in Heaven (tutti)
VII. Geryon's Weekend (tutti)
VIII. Geryon's Father (bass clarinet and bassoon)
IX. Geryon's War Record (saxophone)
X. Schooling (clarinet)
XI. Right (oboe and clarinet)
XII. Wings (saxophone)
XIII. Herakles' Killing Club (bassoon)
XIV. Herakles' Arrow (bass clarinet)
XV. Total Things Known About Geryon (tutti)
XVI. Geryon's End
From the Akropolis Quintet Collection
A maverick of new wind music, Akropolis is committed to showcasing the vast possibilities of the reed quintet through our adventurous repertoire spanning over 400 years of musical history. Having premiered over 50 works for the unique combination of oboe, clarinet, saxophone, bass clarinet, and bassoon, Akropolis is devoted to expanding the existing reed quintet repertoire with imaginative arrangements and the continued development of new works by emerging and established composers.
From the dozens of professional reed quintets actively performing around the world, to the hundreds of student ensembles forming at universities around the United States alone, we hope this collection of our ever-growing repertoire continues to help inspire reed quintet growth around the globe. In the collection below, you’ll find works Akropolis has commissioned and arranged, plus works commissioned or arranged by other artists from around the world we consider important contributions to the standard repertoire of the reed quintet.