Rameau - Pygmalion Overture - A Challenge?

Discussion in 'Classifieds' started by brassneck, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    During the run-in to last year's Open, I was listening to some French Rococo music and Rameau's Overture to Pygmalion caught my attention and I decided to arrange it for band.
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]In the Greek myth, Pygmalion was a gifted sculptor from Cyprus who had no interest in the local women as he found them immoral and frivolous. Instead Pygmalion concentrated on his art until one day he ran across a large, flawless piece of ivory and decided to carve a beautiful woman from it. When he had finished the statue, Pygmalion found it so lovely and the image of his ideal woman that he clothed the figure and adorned her in jewels. He gave the statue a name: Galatea, sleeping love. He found himself obsessed with his ideal woman so he went to the temple of Aphrodite to ask forgiveness for all the years he had shunned her and beg for a wife who would be as perfect as his statue. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Aphrodite was curious so she visited the studio of the sculptor while he was away and was charmed by his creation. Galatea was the image of herself. Being flattered, Aphrodite brought the statue to life. When returned Pygmalion to his home, he found Galatea alive, and humbled himself at her feet. Pygmalion and Galatea were wed, and Pygmalion never forgot to thank Aphrodite for the gift she had given him. He and Galatea brought gifts to her temple throughout their life and Aphrodite blessed them with happiness and love in return.[/FONT]


    Anyway, back to the music ... after the introduction, a faster passage starts and the listener can hear Pygmalion chipping away at the statue (the repeated quavers). It was one of the most popular works in Rameau's lifetime.

    The challenge is this ... this piece hasn't been proof-read yet and requires a competent band to play it. Repeated sections and ornamentation have been written out in full. It's the ornamention that's the challenge. In French Rococo style (from the time of Lully), appoggiaturas were longer and had to be played in the style of a 'sigh'. I have never heard a brass performance that has actually used them in this way and I am intrigued to see if it can be pulled off. If not, the way the arrangement has been written will be okay. If you want to try this piece, it is better to try and listen to a 'period-style' performance of the overture. Because of my curiosity whether bands can execute the style, I am offering the score & parts for free. I'm confident the arrangement works.

    Sibelius Scorch File and MIDI mp3 here

    Score & Parts here (PDF File uploaded for 7 days)

    ... see what you think :rolleyes:
  2. TubaGeek

    TubaGeek Member

    Wow! I just listened to it, that's an absolutely fantastic arrangement, and a lovely piece of music too. Good job!
  3. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    ... with errata! :oops: Rep part (bar 25) ... stem is in wrong direction ...

    Thanks for listening to it. I'm almost certain that the style required to play the 'sighs' (usually marked with a tenuto mark) has not been recorded before (... and maybe not played previously either? :confused:).
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    I've found a couple of audio clips to demonstrate the appoggiatura style (both very different interpretations though!) .... sample 1 sample 2
  5. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    Now that the Areas are over, please can you provide feedback on the arrangement once you have tried it with your band. There has been more than a few downloads of the score/parts & I am interested how you cope with it. Thanks in advance.