Apotheosis of This Earth

From Wind Repertory Project
Karel Husa

Karel Husa

General Info

Year: 1970
Duration: c. 25:30
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Associated Music Publishers, Inc.
Cost: Score and Parts - $150.00   |   Score Only - $30.00


1. Apotheosis – 10:28
2. Tragedy of Destruction – 9:16
3. Postscript – 5:21


Full Score
C Piccolo (doubling Flute)
Flute I-II-III
Bassoon I-II
E-flat Soprano Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
E-flat Alto Clarinet
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet (optional, doubles B-flat Bass Saxophone)
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Bass Saxophone (optional)
B-flat Cornet or B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III-IV
Euphonium I-II
String Bass (preferably 2 or 3)
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bell Lyre (or 2nd Glockenspiel)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Field Drum
  • Glockenspiel
  • Gong (Tam-tam) (3)
  • Marimba
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbals (3: small, medium, and large)
  • Tom-toms (3)
  • Tubular Bells
  • Vibraphone
  • Xylophone (2 or 3 if available)


Movement I:

  • Flutes, m.81: Not solo (score should say a3)
  • Flute I, m.88: D-natural3 on last beat
  • Flute II, m.120: Should go to D3, not to C#3
  • Flute II, m.132: Should go to E3, not to D#3
  • Flutes, m.162: Oboe solo mistakenly in flute part
  • Oboe II, m.65: Should have E-flat1 instead of C1
  • Bassoon, m.62: Should be marked mp, not p
  • E-flat Soprano Clarinet, m.35: Should be D3, not F3
  • Trumpets, m.78: Should be marked tutti
  • Trumpet III-IV, m.120: Should be marked open
  • Horn in F I-II, m.75: Should be marked tutti
  • Trombones, m.98: Should be marked open
  • Trombone II, m.118: Should be marked open
  • Baritone, m.79: Should be marked tutti
  • T. C. Baritone, m.129: Written F#1 on beat 3
  • Vibraphone, m.143: E-natural2 on beat 3

Movement II:

  • Various parts, m.113: Poco accelerando not marked in all parts
  • Various parts, m.121: The duration of measures absent in some parts
  • Various parts, m.122-124: A tempo not marked in all parts
  • Various parts, m.125: Accelerando not marked in all parts
  • Various parts, m.146: The measure # 146 not marked in all parts
  • Various parts, m.46-47: Some of the accents on the beginning of trills are left out
  • Oboes, m.30: Should be marked start quarter tone flat (then gradually rise to indicated pitch)
  • Bassoon, Contrabassoon, B-flat Bass Clarinet, B-flat Contrabass Clarinet, and E-flat Baritone Saxophone, m.21: Harsh, reedy sound not written in
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone, m.9: C#, B, C-natural
  • E-flat Baritone Saxophone, m.58: Has an extra 16th rest on beat 4
  • Brass, m.1: Open not marked in all brass parts
  • B-flat Trumpet I, m.36: G-flat2 for the last pitch
  • B-flat Trumpet I-II, m.40: Should be ff
  • B-flat Trumpets, m.148: All trumpets should be marked brassy
  • Horn in F I-II, m.40: Should be ff
  • Horns in F I-II, m.71: Should be marked brassy
  • Baritone, m.65: Should be marked ff
  • Percussion, m.13: Beat 4 should be the Large gong
  • Field Drum, m.180: Should not have ties

Movement III:

  • B-flat Trumpet I, m.28: Trumpet 1 solo should be marked harmon, stem off
  • Vibraphone, m.58: Vibraphone should be marked motor on, slow speed; pedal down throughout

Program Notes

The composition of Apotheosis of this Earth was motivated by the present desperate stage of mankind and its immense problems with everyday killings, war, hunger, extermination of fauna, huge forest fires, and critical contamination of the whole environment.

Man's brutal possession and misuse of nature's beauty -- if continued at today's reckless speed -- can only lead to catastrophe. The composer hopes that the destruction of this beautiful earth can be stopped, so that the tragedy of destruction -- musically projected here in the second movement -- and the desolation of its aftermath (the "postscript" of the third movement) can exist only as fantasy, never to become reality.

In the first movement, Apotheosis, the Earth appears as a point of light in the universe. Our memory and imagination approach it in perhaps the same way as it appeared to the astronauts returning from the moon. The Earth grows larger and larger, and we can even remember some of its tragic moments (as struck by the xylophone near the end of the movement).

The second movement, Tragedy of Destruction, deals with the actual brutalities of man against nature, leading to the destruction of our planet, perhaps by radioactive explosion. The Earth dies as a savagely, mortally wounded creature.

The last movement is a Postscript, full of the realization that so little is left to be said: The Earth has been pulverized into the universe, the voices scattered into space. Toward the end, these voices -- at first computer-like and mechanical -- unite into the words "this beautiful Earth", simply said, warm and filled with regret...and one of so many questions comes to our minds: "Why have we let it happen?"

This work was commissioned by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association and is dedicated to Dr. William Revelli, Conductor of Bands at the University of Michigan, upon his retirement, in recognition of his devoted service to music, to education, and to his colleagues.

- Program Note by Karel Husa


State Ratings

  • Alabama: Class AA
  • Arkansas: V
  • Florida: VI
  • Louisiana: V
  • Massachusetts: VI
  • Michigan: AA
  • North Carolina:
    • Grade VI: Play movement 1 or play movement 2 & 3
    • Masterworks: Play all
  • South Carolina: VI
  • Tennessee: VI
  • Texas: V. Complete
  • Virginia: VI


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Maryland (College Park) Wind Orchestra (Michael Votta, conductor) - 10 December 2021
  • University of Illinois (Champaign) Wind Symphony (Stephen G. Peterson, conductor) – 26 February 2020
  • Radford (Va.) University Wind Ensemble (R. Wayne Gallops, conductor) – 4 December 2019
  • Pacific Symphonic Wind Ensemble (Coquitlam, B.C.) (David Branter, conductor) - 9 June 2018
  • La Sierra University (Riverside, Calif.) Wind Ensemble (Giovanni Santos, conductor) – 11 November 2017
  • University of Maryland (College Park) Wind Orchestra (Michael Votta, conductor) – 6 November 2015
  • Eastman Wind Ensemble (Rochester, N.Y.) (Mark Davis Scatterday, conductor) - 22 February 2012

Works for Winds by This Composer


  • Haithcock, Michael. (1982, April). “Karel Husa talks about composing.” The Instrumentalist 36(9), 22-25.
  • Husa, Karel. (1973, August) “Apotheosis of This Earth.” The Instrumentalist 28(1), 35-36.
  • Husa, Karel. (1973, Spring) “Apotheosis of This Earth: Some thoughts.” Journal of Band Research 9(2), 35.
  • Miles, Richard B. 2000. Teaching Music Through Performance in Band. Volume 3. Chicago: GIA Publications. pp. 612-620.
  • Montgomery, David. "The Effects of Political and Social Forces on the Life and Music of Karel Husa as Seen in Music for Prague 1968 and Apotheosis of This Earth." NBA Journal, Winter 2021, 34-39.
  • Padilla, Cristina Elena Mendoza. "Karel Husa’s Apotheosis of this Earth: A Conductor’s Guide." University of Houston, 2021. DMA dissertation.
  • Paynter, John P. (1972, May) “New Music Reviews.” The Instrumentalist 26, 76 [Review].
  • Scatterday, Mark D. (1993, September–October) “Karel Husa: Apotheosis of This Earth.” BDGuide 8(1), 10-11, 13-14, 16-18, 20 [includes errata]. Reprinted in Performance Study Guides of Essential Works for Band, edited by Kenneth L. Neidig. Galesville, Md.: Meredith Music Publications, 2009. pp. 26–33.