Ulysses (2010)

for Symphony Orchestra

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Duration: 11 min.

Recording: The Mannes Orchestra, David Hayes, Conductor December 16, 2010, Mannes Concert Hall

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My first orchestral composition is a symphonic poem, following the story of Ulysses in Homer’s The Odyssey. The waves of the sea crash against the rocks of Ogygia, the Island where Odysseus is kept captive by the goddess Calypso. While the drums of war can still be heard from afar, echoes of Ulysses’ loved ones, waiting for him in Ithaca, can be heard over the waves. Later, flashes of the Trojan war can be heard. The violence of the war is reflected in the sweeping allegro section, but the scenes of war are soon replaced again by the crashing of the waves on the lonely beach. The song of his wife Penelope is suddenly carried across the wave, as she mourns her fate and the loss of her husband. As the wind changes, the song disappears, and Ulysses once again faces the waves alone on the remote island.

This piece is dedicated to the families of missing soldiers, who await the return of their loved ones from war.