Prometheus Bound (trombone and piano version)

for trombone and piano

Michael Cryne

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for trombone and piano

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Composer Michael Cryne
Year of Composition 2016
Duration ca.7'



Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-mc1pb2


Prometheus Bound takes its title from the ancient Greek drama commonly attributed to Aeschylus (c. 524 – c.456 BC). Prometheus was a titan who defied Zeus by stealing fire and thwarting Zeus’ plans to destroy the human race. He was subsequently punished by being chained to a rocky mountain.

Most of the harmonic material has been created from a combination of Scriabin’s ‘Prometheus’ or ‘mystic’ chord – pitches C, F♯, B♭, E, A and D and the scale from which it can be derived, known commonly as the overtone or acoustic scale. Almost all of the trombone’s material is constructed from this scale (including transpositions onto each of the pitches of the Prometheus chord).

The broad structure of the drama is used to help shape the piece – various interlocutors: Oceanids, the Titan Oceanus, Io, and finally Hermes, interact with Prometheus. Rather than being programmatic, the piece instead is constructed around the idea of protagonist (trombone) and interlocutors (the ensemble) interacting. The character of each interaction is determined by the interlocutor. Hermes, for example, is hostile and aggressive, and the music reflects this; chromatic manipulations of the Prometheus chord create a substantial degree of harmonic instability, whereas the Oceanids are much more sympathetic to Prometheus’ plight, and the harmonic ‘flavour’ of the overtone scale becomes much clearer.

Piano Reduction by Jeremy Hughes.

This work is also available for solo trombone and ensemble. Click here for more details.