Temptation of St Anthony, The

From Wind Repertory Project
James Syler

James Syler

General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 18:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: James Syler
Cost: Score and Parts (print) – Rental ($400.00)   |   Score Only (print) - $60.00 (perusal score available upon request)


Full Score
Solo Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Soprano Saxophone
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Flugelhorn I-II
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-VI
Bass Trombone
Euphonium I-II
Tuba I-II
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Brake Drum
  • China Cymbals
  • Conga
  • Crash Cymbals (small)
  • Crotales
  • Gong
  • Prayer Bowls (in D and G)
  • Sizzle Cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone

SATB Choir


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Anthony of Egypt (251-356) was a third-century hermit, saint, and father of monasticism in the early church. His life and account of being tempted and tormented in the Egyptian desert were popularized through the first-hand account of Athanasius in his book The Life of Antony. Anthony’s dramatic and supernatural reports of temptation and torment have been a source of inspiration for visual artists and writers from the 10th century to the present.

The six musical sections of this work are titled by phrases I found memorable from my reading of The Life of Antony. By avoiding a direct depiction of his experiences, I’ve approached the Temptation of St. Anthony as an analogy for the process of temptation – approach, doubt, temptation, torment, relief, and joy. The music is filled with drama, sensuality, horror, and strangely enough, joy.

- Program Note by composer

I. “the great desert”
I do not know why my eyes are opening
to a warm yellow light from the great desert
full of untold terror and light.

II. “a great dust cloud of considerations”
No one will ever know.
Just this one time, just once.
But what if… Why not?
No one will ever know.

III. “the softness of pleasure”
A glance, a wink, a smile, a look.
A walk that moves like a gentle brook.
With eyes that want to warm me like spring.
I can’t wait, I’ve got to sing.

A word, a voice, a vexing hook.
A song of desire from an ancient book.
Lips from the Louvre worthy of a king.
I can’t wait, I’ve got to sing.

A touch, a brush, I think I’m doomed.
A hand on the cheek that calms my gloom.
Fingers that linger with jasmine and ginger.
I can’t wait, I’ve got to sing.

A trace, a hint, I know this perfume.
A scent that rings like a sonic boom.
How deep will your siren song sting?
Something tells me, I’ve got to sing.

IV. “their ragings were fierce”
Kyrie eleison.

V. “a certain beam of light”

VI. “more might than before”
How do you find yourself before it’s over?
How do you stop yourself before it’s too late?

I do not know why my eyes are opening
to a warm yellow light.

Commissioned by Texas A&M University-Commerce Chorus and Wind Ensemble, Phillip Clements, conductor

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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