Based on the legendary figure from Greek mythology, Persephone takes listeners through a variety of musical emotions and textures to tell the tragic tale of the queen of the underworld.
Persephone was written for my good friend and colleague Nathan Brown who, in addition to being an active composer, is an excellent trombonist. The work is part of my “Pantheon Series,” which are based on figures in Greek and Roman mythology. According to tradition Persephone was the daughter of Zeus, king of the gods, and also acted as the goddess of vegetation. Due to her radiant beauty Hades, king of the underworld, forcefully abducted Persephone and made her his queen. Her absence began to cause the world’s vegetation to wither, and Zeus demanded the return of his daughter to the surface so people would not starve. Hades obliged, but he first tricked Persephone to eating three seeds of a pomegranate fruit. Due to this act Persephone was forced to spend three months of the year as queen of the underworld, causing the creation of the winter season where nothing grows. The work depicts not only the brightness of the world under Persephone’s guidance, but also her abduction and the resulting melancholy and despair of her absence.
Grade Level: 3
Number of Players: 2
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