• Augusta Read Thomas
  • EOS (Goddess of the Dawn) a Ballet for Orchestra (2014)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)

  • 2+pic.2+ca.2+bcl.1/
  • 16 min 30 s

Programme Note

Composer Note
EOS Goddess of the Dawn is dedicated with admiration and gratitude to Thierry Fischer and each member of the Utah Symphony. Their world premiere performances, captured here on this CD, illustrate their exceptional, colorful, accurate, nuanced and passionate playing for which I express immense appreciation.

EOS is in honor of Pierre Boulez, who premiered three of my works: Words of the Sea for orchestra, Concerto for Orchestra, Orbital Beacons and In My Sky at Twilight for soprano and chamber orchestra. Mr. Boulez recorded, toured, and supported my music over many years and I was so happy to be able to send him the score, program book, and premiere performance recording of EOS in mid 2015.

Greek mythology and dance are two of my lifelong passions.

My other works on Greek themes include Selene for percussion quartet and string quartet; Helios Choros for large orchestra; Terpsichore's Dream for chamber orchestra; and Euterpe's Caprice for solo flute.

My catalogue includes 45 additional works for orchestra or orchestral concerti and I conceived most of my orchestral and chamber works as suitable for dance. I stand at the drafting table as I compose and fully embody the sounds by dancing (though, trust me, you do NOT want to see me dance!), scatting the music, singing the music, playing it at the piano, and feeling the flow, impulse, inner life of the line, whether that be slow and timeless or jazzy and driving or capricious and fleet footed. When an orchestra member asks me a question, I usually sing the answer.

Although my music is careful and precise in its notation and structure, I like my music to have the feeling that it is an organic creation being self-propelled on the spot as if we listeners are overhearing an improvisation. I try to imbue the music with my own physical and mental sense of caprice, an improvisatory spirit, and a joy in a diversity of characters and colors.

EOS exhibits a kaleidoscopic variety of rhythmic syntaxes, radiant colors, and resonant harmonic fields. I work hard to present a very clean and thoughtful technical control of materials and orchestration. I hope my efforts result in unique compositions — always luminous and never muddy. I am honored to be part of this spectacular project with the Utah Symphony and thrilled to share EOS with you.

— Augusta Read Thomas

Ballet Scenario
Narrative and Description

-Eos opening the gates of heaven for the sun to rise.
-Early morning birds in nature's muse.

-Eos' team of horses pull her chariot across the sky (which are named in the Odyssey as Daybright and Firebright.)

-Eos welcomes Aura (Titaness of the breeze and the fresh, cool air of early morning.)

-Eos summonses Hypnos (God of Sleep) and Mnemosyne (Titaness of memory and remembrance, and mother of the Nine Muses) to release all those who are asleep and dreaming so that they may wake.

-Eos embraces Iris (goddess of the rainbow), and bids the Hyades to bring spring rain. (The Hyades were Nymphs associated with the constellation Hyades, and daughters of the Titan Atlas; popularly known as "the rainy ones," they are a sisterhood of nymphs that bring rain, and their rising marked the start of the rainy months of spring.)

-Eos applauds her brother Helios (personification of the sun) as he drives his chariot of horses across the sky.

-Eos greets Aether (the god of the upper atmosphere and light.)
-Eos thanks her mother Theia (Titaness of sight and the shining light of the clear blue sky) and her father Hyperion (Titan of light) who are also the parents Eos' siblings: Helios (sun) and Selene (moon.)