Here’s our first look at our hero, Icarus.
After the Baroque splendors of the adoring crowds and the glories of his father’s pride, Icarus finds himself alone in his trajectory.
As a side note, I keep thinking of that Red Bull stunt of a couple years back, where Felix Baumgartner dove from the edge of the stratosphere. (Cool video here.) Of course, Icarus is kind of like a reverse Baumgartner: lots of telemetry/assistance going up—only with no suit, of course—but not so much coming down.
Anyway, musically speakingwise, after five minutes of nearly solid sixteenth notes in the opening, it’s time for a break. We get a still, quiet statement of the first five notes of the labyrinth tone row, and then Icarus begins the first of his seven arias in this opera. The entire thing will be about five minutes long by my roughest estimation, and no, it’s not going to stay this quiet and slow. In fact, in the very next section we’ll get more movement as Icarus meditates on his relationship to flying and his father.
Note: there are some staccato markings in Icarus’s part that are there just to separate the notes in the recording. They will be omitted in the actual score.