The Night of Prometheus - Saxophone Quartet

The Night of Prometheus - Saxophone Quartet

Also Available DigitallyDigital Sheet Music
Printed set (Score & Parts)
Bb Soprano Saxophone
Eb Alto Saxophone
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone

This is my first saxophone quartet Quartet, composed in 2017 on a commission by Quartet Hayate. It premiered at the 18th World Saxophone Congress held in Croatia (Zagreb) the following year. It was later included in the quartet's first album, "QUARTET HAYATE."

"Prometheus" is a god from Greek mythology who showed compassion for humanity, which struggled with the cold and darkness of the harsh natural world. He stole fire from Zeus, the all-mighty god, and gave it to humans. However, this fire also became a source of new civilization and conflict, as it was used as both a tool and a weapon. In response to Prometheus's actions, furious Zeus ordered Kratos, the god of power, and Bia, the god of violence, to crucify Prometheus at the summit of Mount Caucasus. Although Prometheus is immortal and his body regenerates, he endured the agony of being tormented by an eagle every day for 30,000 years until he was eventually freed by the hero Heracles.

"Prometheus" is derived from "Pro" (onward) and "Metheus" (thinker), signifying a visionary or symbol of intelligence. In addition to fire, Prometheus is said to have bestowed various gifts upon humanity, including navigation. His unwavering pursuit of mankind's ideals, even at the cost of self-sacrifice, has drawn comparisons to the "prototype of Jesus Christ".

The folklore of Prometheus, who defiantly resisted the absolute power of Zeus, transcended religious boundaries and inspired numerous people and writers, leaving a lasting impact on future generations.

In this work, I aim to express the contrast between the flame, which is misused by humanity and burns the world, and the emotions and spirituality of Prometheus, the god of intelligence. What did Prometheus, who defied heavenly prohibitions to grant fire to humanity, contemplate as he gazed upon humans each night? The rising flames and smoke may symbolize emotional retribution for intelligence.

It can be challenging to express emotions solely through intellectual words, but some individuals, or those who believe in the possibility of doing so, may be regarded as a kind of "musician." These individuals have the capacity to convey such emotions through music.

I have never accomplished heroic feats like Prometheus, but this piece reflects my own struggles, overlapping Prometheus, who had his physical freedom taken away and continued to gaze at the sight of the conflicts.

As humans, we naturally grapple with the confrontation between emotions and intellect, or the history of that struggle. Through the process, we find the significance of living for tomorrow.

(Shuhei Tamura)