Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet 1/2
Bb Contra-alto Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone 1
Eb Alto Saxophone 2
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
F Horn 1/2
F Horn 3/4
Piano & Celesta
[Percussion 1] Chimes, Glockenspiel
[Percussion 2] Glockenspiel, Marimba
[Percussion 3] Triangle, Wind Chimes, Cymbals, Bird Call, Temple Block, Ratchet, Bongo, Hi-hat, Gong, Vibraslap
[Percussion 4] Suspended Cymbal, Whip,
[Percussion 5] Bass Drum, 4Tom-toms, Gong
Commissioned for the Ensemble Liberte Wind Orchestra, Kawaguchi City, 30th Anniversary Concert
Explaining the significance of Machu Picchu begins with remembering the Incan empire at its zenith, and its tragic encounter with the Spanish conquistadors. The great 16th century empire that unified most of Andean South America had as its capital the golden city of Cuzco. Irresistible to Francisco Pizarro, while stripping the city of massive quantities of gold, in 1533 he also destroyed Cuzco's Sun Temple, shrine of the founding deity of the Incan civilization.
While that act symbolized the end of the great empire, 378 years later an archeologist from Yale University, Hiram Bingham, rediscovered "Machu Picchu", a glorious mountaintop Incan city that had escaped the attention of the invaders. At the central high point of the city stands its most important shrine, the Intihuatana, or "hitching post of the sun", a column of stone rising from a block of granite the size of a grand piano, where a priest would "tie the sun to the stone" at winter solstice to insure its seasonal return. Finding the last remaining Sun Temple of a great city inspired the belief that perhaps the royal lineage stole away to this holy place during Pizarro's conquest.
After considering these remarkable ideas I wished to musically describe that magnificent citadel and trace some of the mysteries sealed in Machu Picchu's past. Three principal ideas dominate the piece: 1) the shimmering golden city of Cuzco set in the dramatic scenery of the Andes, 2) the destructiveness of violent invasion, and 3) the re-emergence of Incan glory as the City in the Sky again reached for the sun.