Apotheosis of this Earth
1. Apotheosis – 10:28
2. Tragedy of Destruction – 9:16
3. Postscript – 5:21
C Piccolo (doubling Flute)
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 Trumpet (in Bb) I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
String Bass (preferably 2 or 3)
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:
- Bass Drum
- Bell Lyre (or 2nd Glockenspiel)
- Crash Cymbals
- Field Drum
- Gong (Tam-tam) (3)
- Sizzle Cymbal
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbals (3; small, medium, and large)
- Tom-toms (3)
- Tubular Bells
- Xylophone (2 or 3 if available)
See Mark Scatterday article cited below.
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
- Alabama: Class AA
- Arkansas: V
- Florida: VI
- Indiana: ISSMA SENIOR BAND GROUP I
- 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 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
- Al Fresco (1973)
- Apotheosis of this Earth (1970)
- Cheetah (2007)
- Concertino for Piano and Wind Ensemble (1984)
- Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Concert Band (1967)
- Concerto for Percussion and Wind Ensemble (1970)
- Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Orchestra
- Concerto for Wind Ensemble (1982)
- Divertimento for Brass and Percussion (1957)
- Divertimento for Symphonic Winds and Percussion (arr. John Boyd) (1995)
- Fanfare for Brass and Percussion (1981)
- Les Couleurs Fauves (1996)
- Music for Prague 1968 (1968)
- Smetana Fanfare (1984)
- 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.
- 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.