Tales from the Aesopica (performance scores) - OB/CEL
Composer: Mueller, Robert
Tales from the Aesopica (2021)
for oboe and cello
by Robert Mueller - American composer and educator
1. The Tortoise and the Hare
II. The North Wind and the Sun
III. War (Polemos) and His Bride (Hubris)
IV. The Jar of Blessing (Pandora's Box)
V. The Old Man and Death
for Darci Gamerl and David Downing
This is a set of 2 performance scores. There are no individual parts.
Notes from the composer:
Commissioned by oboist Darci Gammerl and cellist David Downing in 2021, “Tales from the Aesopica” presents five movements, each based on a different fable by Aesop. In each movement the two instrumentalists take on characteristics of persons or elements from the stories. Sometimes the relationship between instruments and characters is obvious, as in the first piece, “The Tortoise and the Hare,” where the oboe represents the hare and the cello the tortoise. In the second piece, “The Northwind and the Sun,” the northwind and sun have a contest to see who can cause a man to lose his outer garment first, and of course, the sun (oboe) wins. “War (Polemos) and His Bride (Hubris)” features the cello as war and the oboe as his bride, giving evidence to the famous adage: ‘Wherever there is hubris, war is not far behind.’ In “The Jar of Blessings (Pandora’s Box),” the two instruments work together to open a pandora’s box of melodic variation, wherein the tune becomes dangerously obscured. The finale, “The Old Man and Death” has the cello (the old man) return to the tortoise theme from the opening movement while the oboe (death) tries to woo him with the infamous “Dies Irae” theme; but the old man soon turns the tables on death and all ends happily.