Dances from Crete

From Wind Repertory Project
Adam Gorb

Adam Gorb

General Info

Year: 2003
Duration: c. 19:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Maecenas/Masters Music
Cost: Parts - ₤83.50   |   Score (Purchase) - £19.95


1. Syrtos - 3:35
2. Tik - 5:25
3. Samaria Gorge - 6:30
4. Syrtaki - 5:35


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II (II doubling Piccolo II)
Oboe I-II (II doubling English Horn)
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
E-flat Trumpet (optional)
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Castanet
  • Crash Cymbal
  • Drum Kit
  • Glockenspiel
  • Guiro
  • Maracas
  • Marimba
  • Ratchet
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-tom
  • Triangle
  • Wind Chimes
  • Woodblock
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

A brief introductory unison statement ushers in a fast moving dance dominated by the first tune that appears in the low winds. The mood is inspired by the myth of the Minotaur, half-beast, half-man, and the wild sacrificial rites which accompanied the sacrifice of seven maidens and seven young men. The second dance, Tik, is in a teasing 5/8, gradually dying away until a plaintive lone offstage trumpet reminds us of the introduction and leads into Sanaria Gorge, a ponderous 7/4 evoking the well-known tramp through the dark crevice, ending with a plunge into the Libyan Sea. The link to the finale, Syrtaki, is again offstage, but this time erupts into a swaggering final theme, the basis for a very fast plate-smashing dance.

- Program Note by Tim Reynish

This work was commissioned by Timothy Reynish as part of a series to commemorate his son William who tragically died in a mountaineering accident in 2001.

Dances from Crete is in four movements and is intended to celebrate the good things in life, drawing much of its material from the dance music of the Greek Island of Crete, where many of the ancient Greek myths take place. The first movement, Syrtos, is intended to serve as a portrait of the Minotaur, the famous creature, half bull, half man, that fed upon the young men and women sacrificed to him every year, before being killed by the hero Theseus. The character of the movement is harsh and ruthless.

The second movement, Tik, is a more graceful dance based on the sinuous movements of young women, but is also characterized by a certain roughness: it is in 5/8 time. Tim Reynish writes "in this movement the whole orchestra should feel the pulse like a Cretan peasant on the threshing floor."

Following this, the third movement is in a slow 7/4 time, is darker in mood and inspired by a steep and perilous walk down the Samaria Gorge, one of the most spectacular of all walks. The movement eventually achieves a triumphant peroration, depicting a welcome plunge into the Libyan Sea. Following distant offstage fanfares, the finale is a modern Greek dance, Syrtaki, which bursts in with the offstage trumpeters swaggering back on stage playing a deliberately vulgar theme. The music soon becomes very fast and eventually ends in a total festive anarchy, though before the final apotheosis the ghost of the Minotaur can briefly be heard joining the party.

- Program Note by composer


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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