Popean, Mihai. Serpentarius (2017) (3:00) for violin and piano. Copyright © Mihai Popean, 2017. All Rights Reserved.
Dedicated to Maestro Remus Georgescu, Doctor Honoris Causa, Octomber 30, 2017, Timișoara.
Program Notes: This work was inspired by the legend of the Greek healer Asklēpiós (the Serpent Holder), represented by the 13th constellation of the zodiac, Ophioūkhos. He was the son of princess Koronis (a Hyades, from the sisterhood of nymphs that bring the rain, and sisters to the Pleiades and the Hesperides) and god Apollo (the Olympian god of music, prophecy and healing, protector of youths and patron god of poets), who left a white crow to keep watch on her. Koronis fell for a mere mortal, Ischys. When Apollo learned of her infidelity from the crow, he cursed the bird for not plucking Ischys eyes out, and turned it black. Apollo’s huntress sister, Artemis, killed Koronis shooting a quiverful of arrows into her. As Koroni’s body was being set ablaze on a pyre, Apollo came to his senses and saved his son by cutting him out of her abdomen, named him Asklēpiós, and took him to Kheiron, a kind and very wise centaur, to take care of him. Kheiron taught Asklēpiós the art of medicine and he mastered it to the point he was raising the dead back to life. Hades, King of the Underworld, complained to Zeus who struck Asklēpiós with a thunderbolt, killing him. At apollo’s insistence, Zeus placed Asklēpiós among the stars as the Serpentarius or the Ophiucus constellation. Asklēpiós is depicted having a staff with a snake climbing around it. The legend says that the snake gave Asklēpiós secret medical knowledge, and while Asklēpiós was able to cure even death by raising the dead back to life, he was not able to find a cure for the proverbial jealousy which the gods of Olympus seem to have been plagued with. This work contemplates the conclusion that jealousy is deadlier than death, as presented in a hymn sung by the story teller:
“O, Asklēpiós, son of unfaithful Koronis and vengeful Apollo,
Even the gods themselves fear Phthónos, and Hades sealed your fate with Zeus.
Kheiron, the kind and wise centaur taught you the art of ultimate medicine;
And you even raised the dead back to life; but jealousy is deadlier than death.
Still, Tartarus shall never be your dwelling place, as you shine eternal among Aquila and Hercules.”
Festivalul internațional de muzică contemporană INTRADA. Ansamblul de muzica contemporana ATEM: Cristina Malancioiu, vioară; Victor Părău, pian. Bastionul Theresia, Timișoara, 6 noiembrie 2018.
Festivalul Internațional Timișoara Muzicală, ediția a XLIII-a, Zilele Remus Georgescu, Filarmonica de Stat „Banatul”, Timișoara, 25 apr. 2018.
Lucrare la comandă (Ansamblul de muzică contemporană ATEM), Concert aniversar Doctor Honoris Causa Remus Georgescu, Galeria Triade, Timișoara, p.a. 23 noiembrie 2017.