Odysseia, by the Musique des Gardiens de la Paix
Picc., 2 Fl., Alto Fl., 2 Ob., Eng.Hn.,
2 Bsns, Cbsn, Eb Cl.,
Bb Cl. I-II-III, Alto Cl., Bass Cl., Cb. Cl.,
2 A. Sax., T. Sax., Bar. Sax.,
4 Hns, 2 Cnts, 3 Tpts (+ Flhn), 3 Trbs,
2 Euph., 2 Tubas, Cb., Hp, Pno, 5 Perc.
Level: Grade 5
Washed up on the Phaeacian shore after a shipwreck, Odysseus is introduced to king Alcinous. As he sits in the palace, he tells the Phaeacians of his wanderings since leaving Troy.
Odysseus and his men first landed on the island of the Cicones where they sacked the city of Ismarus. From there, great storms swept them to the land of the hospitable Lotus Eaters. Then they sailed to the land of the Cyclopes. Odysseus and twelve of his men entered the cave of Polyphemus. After the single-eyed giant made handfuls of his men into meals, Odysseus finally defeated him. He got him drunk and once he had fallen asleep, he and his men stabbed a glowing spike into the Cyclops’ single eye, completely blinding him. They escaped by clinging to the bellies of some sheep. Once aboard, Odysseus taunted the Cyclop by revealing him his true identity. Enraged, Polyphemus hurled rocks at the ship, trying to sink it.
After leaving the Cyclopes’ island, they arrived to the home of Aeolus, ruler of the winds. Aeolus offered Odysseus a bag trapping all the strong winds within except one – the one which would take him straight back to Ithaca. As the ship came within sight of Ithaca, the crewmen, curious about the bag, decided to open it. The winds escaped and stirred up a storm. Odysseus and his crew came to the land of the cannibalistic Laestrygonians, who sank all but one of the ships. The survivors went next to Aeaea, the island of the witch-goddess Circe. Odysseus sent out a scouting party but Circe turned them into pigs. With the help of an antidote the god Hermes had given him, Odysseus managed to overpower the goddess and forced her to change his men back to human form. When it was time for Odysseus to leave, Circe told him to sail to the realm of the dead to speak with the spirit of the seer Tiresias.
One day’s sailing took them to the land of the Cimmerians. There, he performed sacrifices to attract the souls of the dead. Tiresias told him what would happen to him next. He then got to talk with his mother, Anticleia, and met the spirits of Agamemnon, Achilles, Patroclus, Antilochus, Ajax and others. He then saw the souls of the damned Tityos, Tantalus, and Sisyphus. Odysseus soon found himself mobbed by souls. He became frightened, run back to his ship, and sailed away. While back at Aeaea, Circe told him about the dangers he would have to face on his way back home. She advised him to avoid hearing the song of the Sirens; but if he really felt he had to hear, then he should be tied to the mast of the ship, which he did. Odysseus then successfully steered his crew past Charybdis (a violent whirlpool) and Scylla ( a multiple-headed monster), but Scylla managed to devour six of his men. Finally, Odysseus and his surviving crew approached the island where the Sun god kept sacred cattle. Odysseus wanted to sail past, but the crewmen persuaded him to let them rest there. Odysseus passed Circe’s counsel on to his men. Once he had fallen asleep, his men impiously killed and ate some of the cattle. When the Sun god found out, he asked Zeus to punish them. Shortly after they set sail from the island, Zeus destroyed the ship and all the men died except for Odysseus. After ten days, Odysseus was washed up on the island of the nymph Calypso.
- 01. Aerospace 4:11
- 02. The Butterfly that Stamped 2:20
- 03. Odysseia 3:28
- 04. Phaethon 4:05
- 05. Marsyas 4:36
Odysseia, by the Metropolitan Police of Paris Wind Band
Conductor: Pascale Jeandroz, CD “Aerospace”