cl(or Ebcl if preferred) - tpt.trbn - perc(1): brake drum/2 bongo/c.bell/crot/ride.cym - vln.db - solo bsn (Elvis sunglasses and/or Elvis Las Vegas 1970's jumpsuit are optional)


Score and parts for hire

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Programme Notes

Dead Elvis No rock and roll personality seems to have inspired as much speculation, adulation, and impersonation as Elvis Presley(1935-77). In Dead Elvis, the bassoon soloist is an Elvis impersonator accompanied by a chamber ensemble. It is more than a coincidence Dead Elvis is scored for the same instrumentation as Stravinsky's Histoire du Soldat (1918), in which a soldier sells his violin, and his soul, to the devil for a magic book. I offer a new spin on this Faustian scenario: a rock star sells out to Hollywood, Colonel Parker, and Las Vegas for wealth and fame. I use Dies irae -- a medieval Latin chant for the Day of Judgment -- as the principal musical theme in my composition to pose the question, is Elvis dead or alive beyond the grave of Graceland? In Dead Elvis we hear fast and slow fifties rock and roll ostinato in the double bass, violin, and bongos, while the bassoonist gyrates, double-tongues, and croons his way through variations of Dies irae. Elvis is part of American culture, history, and mythology for better or for worse. If you want to understand America and all its riddles, sooner or later you will have to deal with (Dead) Elvis.

Dead Elvis

Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music (London, United Kingdom)

Fraser Gordon, Royal Academy of Music Symphonic Wind Ensemble

Dead Elvis

Filharmonia Gorzowska (Gorzów, Poland)

Orkiestra Filharmonii Gorzowskiej

Dead Elvis

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre (London, United Kingdom)

Philharmonia Orchestra, Robin O'Neill, Matthew Coorey

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Dead Elvis

South Coast Correctional Centre (Nowra, Australia)

Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Dead Elvis

No Venue (Madrid, Spain)

Chamber Ensemble Spain, Jorge Navarro Martin