Posted By : TimoPalm
Piece Title : View from Olympus
No. of times Viewed (January 2019) :20
Total No. of times Viewed :1853
No. of Media Uploads :0(Videos -0, MP3 - 0, Photos - 0)
Dificulty Rating :
Level : Professional
Composer / Arranger : Psathas, John (1966-)
Composer / Arranger Details:

John Psathas (1966) is one of a few New Zealand composers who have made a mark on the international scene, particularly in Europe and North America. He is now widely considered one of the three most important living composers of the Greek Diaspora. Raised in Taumaranui and Napier, John is the son of Greek immigrant parents who arrived in New Zealand in the early 1960s. After studying piano and composition at Victoria University, he studied privately in Belgium with Jaqueline Fontyn before returning to take up lecturing at the New Zealand School of Music in Wellington. John’s music has been commissioned and performed by many great musicians and orchestras around the world. These include Michael Brecker, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Michael Houstoun, Joshua Redman, The New Zealand String Quartet, Federico Mondelci, The New Zealand Trio, Pedro Carneiro, the Takacs Quartet. The Netherlands Blazers Ensemble, the Halle Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the Melbourne Symphony, the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Auckland Philharmonia, the Vector Wellington Orchestra, the NZSO, and many others. John has a natural inclination and innate ability for mega-projects. Since writing much of the ceremonial music for the 2004 Olympic Games, John’s music has been on the radar screen of a wider public than that normally associated with contemporary classical music. To him, music composition is first and foremost a communicative art form. He is constantly seeking ways and means of making intellectual music accessible to a wider audience. He explores connections between contemporary music and age-old musical traditions and he puts together programs, like his “Zeibekiko” that create context for the appreciation of difficult contemporary works. In 2010 John’s “A Cool Wind” will receive its Carnegie Hall debut with the Takacs quartet, and he will be Distinguished Guest Composer at the Winnipeg’s 2010 New Music Festival.


Total Number of Percussionists Required :1 Percussionist(s)
Categories : Tuned Percussion / Mixed Chamber Ensemble
Instrument / Discipline : Double Concerto for Percussion and Piano
Instrumentation : Bass Pans / Bell Tree / China Cymbal / Cluster of Smallest Possible Splash Cymbals / Crash Cymbal / Finger Cymbals / Hammer Dulcimer / Hi-Hats / Mark Tree / Octoban (x4) / Patio Wind Chimes (x2) / Simtak / Splash Cymbal / Tom (x4) / Trash Cymbal / Triangle / Vibraphone
Range of Instruments / Number of Drums : NA
Written for / Commissioned by : Evelyn Glennie
Permission given for Youtube video by Copyright holder
and Youtube Channel Owner. Recorded / Provided by:
 John Psathas
Accompanied :Concerto
Publisher :Promethean Editions
Publishers Website
Publisher Details :

A Greek legend tells how the demigod Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and brought it to mankind in order that they might establish civilisation. Subsequently Zeus took vengeance on Prometheus for his cunning, condemning him to be bound in chains for eternity and sending an eagle to feed upon his immortal liver!

Promethean Editions was established in 1996 with the mission of bringing the fire of new, fresh and exciting contemporary music to performers and audiences throughout the world. Today we publish, promote and market music by emerging and established composers in the global market-place.

We publish and represent the music of thirty composers and work closely with our house composers: Gareth Farr, Christos Hatzis, Vincent Ho and John Psathas.

Key strategies include the publication of sheet music and services to composers (management, music typesetting and administration of music hire and facsimile score publication).

Promethean Editions are intended primarily for performance. Scores and parts are sturdy and easy to use: durable outside, clearly and sensibly laid out within.

Music is engraved using either Music Press (Graphire) or Finale (MakeMusic!). Music Press is a high-end expert music typesetting software package whose output is comparable to the finest classical hand engraving, and custom fonts and spacing are employed in Finale to achieve clean and stylish scores.

Gareth Farr and John Psathas are two important New Zealand composers. Together with Canadians Christos Hatzis and Vincent Ho they form part of an emerging unique artistic voice. Gareth Farr is renowned for his colourful melodies and driving, percussive writing, while referencing musical styles of the Pacific-rim, including Cook Island drumming, Balinese Gamelan and Maori music traditions. Christos Hatzis, a Greek born Canadian resident, draws musical inspiration from Christian spirituality, his own Byzantine heritage and other cultures. His music is eclectic and combines elements of jazz, pop and world music, including several earlier works inspired by the music of the Inuit, Canada’s arctic inhabitants. Canadian Vincent Ho’s music is rich and energetic, a unique integration of influences ranging from the visual arts, electroacoustic and natural soundscapes, traditional classical music forms, and the physical properties of the instruments and ensembles for which he writes. Ho is currently Composer in Residence with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. New Zealand born Greek John Psathas was recognised early in his career for writing high-energy and propulsive music. He continues to fuse a new classical style by drawing from his heritage and aspects of European art music, jazz and rock.

Year Composed / Copyright Date :2001 /  2003
Duration :21Minutes
No. of Mallets/Sticks Required :Various
Special Needs :An excellent pianist. Bass Pans (Range= B-flat to F on the staff), Hammer Dulcimer, Simtak. IF steel pans are unavailable the part may be played on marimba. Wind chimes: outdoor-style, suspended, with long decay. A minimum of two sets is required, wi
Sheet Music Available From      Check to see if in stock
Programme Notes / Performance Details :

I The Furies – The Furies were avenging spirits of retributive justice whose task was to punish crimes outside the reach of human justice. Their names were Alecto, Megæra and Tisiphone. This movement contains an adapted transcription of a fragment of improvised playing by one of my favourite Greek violinists, Stathis Koukoularis (It appears as a solo for violin about 2 minutes into the movement).

II To Yelasto Paithi (The Smiling Child) – This is the closest I’ve come to expressing – in a way not possible with the spoken or written word – the feelings inspired by my precious children, Emanuel and Zoe. In this movement is also caught the summer I spent working on the concerto at my parents’ house just outside the village of Nea Michaniona – a house perched on a cliff which looks down on the Aegean and up to Mount Olympus.

III Dance of the Mænads – Draped in the skins of fawns, crowned with wreaths of ivy and carrying the thyrsos – a staff wound round with ivy leaves and topped with a pine cone – the Mænads roamed the mountains and woods, seeking to assimilate the potency of the beasts that dwelled there and celebrating their god Dionysos with song, music and dance. The human spirit demands Dionysiac ecstasy; to those who accept it, the experience offers spiritual power. For those who repress the natural force within themselves, or refuse it to others, it is transformed into destruction, both of the innocent and the guilty. When possessed by Dionysos, the Mænads became savage and brutal. They plunged into a frenzied dance, obtaining an intoxicating high and a mystical ecstasy that gave them unknown powers, making them the match of the bravest hero.

John Psathas, 2001

The composition of View from Olympus was funded as original research by Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and completed during the composer’s sabbatical leave in 2000, which was taken in the northern Greek village of Nea Michaniona. The composer acknowledges his gratitude to percussionist Petros Kourtis for introducing him to the world of Greek percussion styles and playing techniques.

View from Olympus was the recipient of the SOUNZ (Centre for New Zealand Music) Contemporary Award at the 2002 APRA Silver Scroll Awards.

Forming an optional encore to the concerto is Fragment, for vibraphone and piano.

This short work is an adaptation of a piano duet originally composed to commemorate the occasion of the retirement of the composer`s first piano teacher, Peter Williams. It is related to the second movement of View From Olympus in mood and musical material.

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