Pluto ... Lord of the Underworld (2005) for orchestra

Thomas Oboe Lee

About this work:

Published by Theodore Presser Co./ Merion Music Inc. Program Notes: When Charles Ansbacher, music director of the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, commissioned me to write “Pluto” as a grand finale for “The Planets” by Gustav Holst, I immediately thought of Pluto, the Disney character; but common sense took over when I sat down to work. So instead of Disney’s faithful dog, I gravitated to the Pluto of Roman mythology. After a long battle with the Titans, the three brothers, Zeus, Poseidon and Pluto, divided the world among themselves. Zeus had the sky; Poseidon, the sea; and Pluto, the Underworld. According to mythology, the spirits of the dead, whether good or bad, enter the Underworld. Cerberus, a vicious three-headed beast, stands guard at the entrance - preventing the living from entering the world of the dead. The movement begins with a fanfare: Cerberus at the gates of the Underworld. Then a grand waltz materializes in the bass: Pluto dances!! As the waltz fades away, a lyrical tune emerges: Persephone, the wife of Pluto, appears. The work ends with a reprise of the opening fanfare, slightly altered.

Year composed: 2005
Duration: 00:06:00
Ensemble type: Orchestra

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