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The Galicia Symphony Orchestra in front of La Coruña's Hercules Tower

Hércules y Cronos / Hercules and Chronos

For Brass and Percussion Ensemble

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The commemoration in 2008 of the 800th anniversary of the concession by King Alfonso the 9th of the title of city to La Coruña was the origin of a commission from the Galicia Symphony Orchestra for the composition of a work for brass and percussion, destined to be premiered within the already traditional multitudinous concerts that the orchestra celebrates during the month of August in the Plaza de María Pita of said city.
The work, which was originally proposed as a brief introductory fanfare for the concert, grew larger than initially expected, until it ended up becoming an authentic overture with which the concert in question (which included symphonic works, with and without soloists, and symphonic-chorales) began as brilliantly as possible, to which the proposed template should contribute to a great extent: five horns, three trumpets, three trombones, one tuba, timpani and three percussionists equipped with an extensive set of instruments.
In order to link the work as much as possible with the commemoration that gave rise to it, I decided to center it conceptually around the two divinities traditionally most related to La Coruña: Hercules, one of whose twelve jobs entrusted to him by Zeus was to defeat and snatch Geryon his herd of oxen, later building the famous tower on the place where he buried the head of his enemy, and Chronos, ancient supreme divinity equivalent to the Roman Saturn, later confused with the divine personification of time (χρόνος), and in whose Celtic name –Cruinne– could be the etymological origin of the name of La Coruña (Cronos - Cruinne - Coruña), according to some theory.
With this suggestive starting point, the work presents a continuous alternation between large sections of a solemn and majestic character, as the personification of Hercules, and others of a lighter nature, even openly scherzante, to evoke Cronos, establishing through both a dialogue that is nice at times and dramatic at others.
The instrumental template is exploited to the maximum, requiring the use of the entire register of the different instruments, including that of the pedal sounds of horns and trombones, in charge of which a wide central section runs, to whose mysterious character the infrequent sonority of that register contributes.

Hercules and Chronos was composed between the months of May and July 2008. Its premiere took place in the Plaza de María Pita in La Coruña, before an audience of more than 4,000 people, on August 16 of that year, in the interpretation of the brass and percussion section of the Galician Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Víctor Pablo Pérez.


Community of Madrid Youth Orchestra (Dir.: Jordi Navarro)

First page of Hercules and Chronos


Premiere video: Brass and Percussion Group of the Galician Symphony Orchestra (Dir.: Víctor Pablo Pérez)

La Coruña, Plaza de María Pita, August 16, 2008

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(Complete score and parts without watermarks available at www.asesores-musicales.com )