• Simon Holt
  • Dædalus Remembers (1995)
    (Dædalus Remembers)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by the Cheltenham Festival with financial support provided by the Arts Council of England

  • 2hn.flg/perc/hp.cim/str(
  • cello
  • 18 min

Programme Note

Daedalus Remembers is the third part in a trilogy called 3 for Icarus. Daedalus was Icarus' father and a famous craftsman. He once forged a magic sword for Peleus which had a property of making its owner victorious in battle, and he also created the labyrinth of King Minos of Crete in which the Minotaur (half bull, half man) was imprisoned. The second part of the trilogy is entited Minotaur Games after Troy games, a kind of labyrinthine dance involving cords (Ariadne’s thread?).
At one point in the myth Daedalus and Icarus are also imprisoned in the labyrinth. They escape by means of wings which Daedalus has made from feathers and wax. Sadly, despite his father’s warnings, Icarus flies too close to the sun in a fit of hubris, and the wings melt, causing him to plunge to his death. Daedalus alights safely on a beach in Sardinia, and after he has collected his thoughts remembers his son’s fall and scenes from his own past life. Have the gods paid him back for the death of his nephew Talos, whom Daedalus killed in a fit of jealousy by pushing him off the top of a temple in the Acropolis? Daedalus rants and sorrows – dark memories nag persistently.

Daedalus Remembers is scored for solo cello with flugelhorn, two horns, percussion, cimbalom, harp, three violas, four cellos and two double-basses.

© Simon Holt