Nicolas Roussakis: Hymn to Apollo; Ephemeris
Liner Notes   Cat. No. NWCR624     Release Date: 2007-01-01

The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble: [David Tessmer, flute; Linda George-Fountain, oboe; James Wilson, clarinet; Ivan Engel, bassoon; John Scandrett, horn; Wesley Ward, trumpet; Glenn Wayland, trombone; Beverly Nero, piano; Lucy Scandrett, harp; Jan Fung, percussion; Raymond Eichenmuller, violin; Kazuko Matsusaka, violin; Florence Ohlberg, viola; Martin Bernstein, cello; Jeffrey Mangone, bass; David Stock, conductor]; The Group for Contemporary Music String Quartet: [Benjamin Hudson, violin; Carol Zeavin, violin; Janet Lyman Hill, viola; Eric Bartlett, cello]


The listener may wonder why this piece is called Hymn to Apollo (1989); a few words of explanation, therefore, are in order. In classical Greece, a hymn was a simple religious song containing a prayer and a poem in praise of a divinity; sung by a chorus, it was tranquil in tone and plain in style, devoid of musical complexities or excessive ornament. Apollo, as the patron god of music and poetry, was the leader of the muses who inspired creative artists. He was most widely venerated as Phoebus Apollo, the god of light, who stood for all that is serene, luminous, intelligible. The most common aphorism in ancient Greece, “midén ágan”—nothing to excess—is said to have been first spoken by Apollo himself and was always on his lips. Despite the title, this hymn is not for chorus; it consists of two rapid instrumental movements. The piece is a celebration of moderation, shaped by a sense of balance, proportion and form. The first movement is an attempt to find a working relationship between, on one hand, the harmonic series given by nature, the so-called “chord of nature” or overtone series, and, on the other hand, the purely artificial, man-made system of tuning called equal temperament. The second movement is a fugue. The objective was to take this time-honored procedure, which is based solidly on tonality, and to push it in the direction of twelve-tone music without losing its coherence and intelligibility...

Ephemeris consists of four tone poems which describe the times of the day: Morning, Afternoon, Evening and Night— specifically, a hot, late summer day in the Eastern Mediterranean. Both outer events and inner states of being are portrayed by the music...
—Nicolas Roussakis


This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available for order from New World Records as an on-demand CD (CD-R). It can also be downloaded in MP3/320, FLAC and/or WAV format(s).

Various Artists

Nicolas Roussakis: Hymn to Apollo; Ephemeris

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Track Listing

Hymn to Apollo: I. Prestissimo
Nicolas Roussakis
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Hymn to Apollo: II. Allegro moderato
Nicolas Roussakis
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Ephemeris: I. Morning
Nicolas Roussakis
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Ephemeris: II. Afternoon
Nicolas Roussakis
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Ephemeris: III. Evening
Nicolas Roussakis
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Ephemeris: IV. Night
Nicolas Roussakis
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