Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 23
Like Tree9Likes

Thread: Music based on Roman/Greek mythology?

  1. #1
    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    302

    Default Music based on Roman/Greek mythology?

    Hello,

    I'm just getting into classical music--please forgive the question if it's obvious!

    A class I'm in requires reports on Greek/Roman mythology in post-1300 art. I'm curious if there is classical music that is themed on the subject?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ciel_Rouge's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Szczecin, Poland
    Posts
    231

    Default

    Holst - The Planets Suite. Refers more to astrology but also mentions names of planets which come from names of Roman gods like Mercury or Venus.
    spradlig likes this.

  3. #3
    Member fox_druid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Indonesia
    Posts
    63

    Default

    I think there are plenty of them. Mostly baroque opera are about them; Hercules, Zoroastre, &c; till the humanist take place.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,136

    Default

    Stravinsky's Persephone comes immediately to mind, as it's a myth in which I have particular interest - though I must say that on the two attempts I've made to listen to it, it just seemed like a bunch of more or less disconnected twiddles, plonks, toots, and bangs on a drum, to me. Certainly any connection between what I was listening to and this, one of the most profound classical myths, completely eluded me.

  5. #5
    Member Alnitak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    EU
    Posts
    55

    Default

    The only thing I know about mythology, is that the guitar has been created by a bearded god and given to a naked guy.




    Flamme likes this.

  6. #6
    Newbies
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Nefigah,

    Fox-druid is correct - many Baroque Operas indeed have classical mythology as their subjects.

    The first that comes to mind is Claudio Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (1607), an opera based on the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, a guy who attempts to rescue his dead lover Eurydice from Hades, ruler of the underworld. It's a really awesome story with a very sad ending.

    Anyway, check out the opera's wikipedia page - it has a lot of really good information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orfeo

    Hope I helped,

    Chopinistic
    ahammel likes this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Albert Roussel's Bacchus et Ariane Ballet / Suites for orchestra

    Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé Ballet / Suites for orchestra (can be counted for, I think.)

    I've seen both live performance conducted by Ashkenazy and Dutoit. Thanks for bringing up this topic which reminds me I must get the CDs.
    ahammel and Tristan like this.

  8. #8
    Assistant Administrator Chi_townPhilly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    S Jersey c. Philadelphia
    Posts
    2,843

    Default

    Interesting topic! (As unofficial memorial achivist of TalkClassical, I'd like to point out that) [T]his thread has a long-lost cousin, which can be found here.

    In addition to the works mentioned there, and those already brought up here, let me add:
    John Blow's opera Venus & Adonis.
    Henry Purcell's opera Dido & Aeneas
    Two citations for Prometheus-- Beethoven's ballet The Creatures of Prometheus, though not really an example of the best of Beethovenian inspirations, and Scriabin's orchestral work Prometheus.
    Berlioz' sprawling opera Les Troyens.
    A distant predecessor to Samuel Barber's work, Cherubini's Médée.
    Richard Strauss "opera topics" Daphne, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Elektra.


    Before I go, let me touch also on the issue of portions of works having a Greek/Roman mythological basis. I'm sure there are numerous examples, but the ones immediately known to me are the less famous "March & Procession of Bacchus" from Delibes' ballet Sylvia and the much more famous dramatic soprano role for Venus in Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser.
    spradlig likes this.
    The hardest knife ill us'd doth lose his edge. Shakespeare- Sonnet 95

  9. #9
    Senior Member Novelette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Careening on the G Clef
    Posts
    1,902

    Default

    Good call on Berlioz!

    Les Troyens is a magnificent tribute to Virgil's own masterpiece.

    Also, Rameau's Zoroastre is set in Bactria--something of a minor innovation in a France wherein almost all operas were themed on Roman or Greek stories, drama, myths, etc.
    moody likes this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ahammel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,103

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Chopinistic View Post
    The first that comes to mind is Claudio Monteverdi's L'Orfeo (1607), an opera based on the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus, a guy who attempts to rescue his dead lover Eurydice from Hades, ruler of the underworld. It's a really awesome story with a very sad ending.
    There is, as it turns out, an entire subgenre of operas on the Orpheus myth. Monteverdi's, Gluck's, and Offenbach's are the most famous, I believe. Debussy also had an unfinished crack at one, it seems.

    Talking of Debussy, the Prélude à l'àpres-midi d'un faune is loosely inspired by Greek myth by way of Mallarmé.

    Stravinsky wrote an operatic setting of Oediupus rex, and Britten's Rape of Lucretia is based on Roman legend.
    spradlig likes this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member hpowders's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    5,593

    Default

    Funny! Les Troyens was today's project.

  12. #12
    Senior Member joen_cph's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Cph, Denmark
    Posts
    2,342

    Default

    An old thread, but I´ll supply with a few more, lesser known titles:

    Novak:"Pan", a large piano cycle: http://www.musicweb-international.co...iano_works.htm

    Carl Nielsen:"Pan & Syrinx", symphonic poem

    Szymanowski:"Demeter" cantata http://www.college.columbia.edu/core...ymanowski-1917

    Enescu:"Oedipe", opera

    Taneyev:"The Oresteia", opera

    Ibert:"Bacchanale" for orchestra

    Britten:"Young Apollo" for piano & strings;

    Foulds:"Hellas Suite" http://landofllostcontent.blogspot.d...f-ancient.html

    Rudolph Simonsen: Symphony no.2, "Hellas" http://www.classicalcdreview.com/777229.html

    Jules Mouquet:"La Flute de Pan", flute concerto (1906)

    Sterndale Bennett:"Naiades-Ouverture"

    Tartini: Sonata, Didone Abbandonata
    Last edited by joen_cph; Jan-01-2014 at 23:42.

  13. #13
    Senior Member csacks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Viña del Mar, Chile
    Posts
    164

    Default

    The Ifigenias (in Aulis and in Tauris), by Gluck, based on Euripide´s tale about Agamenon´s daughter.
    Castor and Pollux by Jean Philippe Rameau, are he first to came to my mind

  14. #14
    Senior Member ahammel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,103

    Default

    Takemitsu: Orion and the Pleiades

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    215

    Default

    The six existing symphonies based on Ovids's Metamorphoses by Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. New way of getting classical music
    By Nashvillebill in forum Community Forum
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Jun-24-2014, 19:10
  2. Indian classical music
    By padmaiyangar in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: Aug-28-2013, 00:51
  3. Tonal music and cliche
    By JANK in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 40
    Last Post: Sep-09-2012, 10:26
  4. Bruckner Symphonies...What am I missing?
    By Keemun in forum Orchestral Music
    Replies: 189
    Last Post: Jun-19-2011, 01:10
  5. The Musical Mind
    By Yagan Kiely in forum Classical Music Discussion
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: Jan-02-2010, 12:32

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •