IN THE REALM OF THE SUN GOD
For Wind Ensemble
Duration: 10 minutes
At the height of its power, the Aztec Empire stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific, dominating Mesoamerica. The Chief God of the Aztecs was Huitzilopochtli, the Sun God, who was worshipped above all other deities.
Many temples were dedicated to him throughout the Kingdom, but the most important of these was the Great Temple of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital, which is now the site of Mexico City. The Sun was central to the Aztecs faith, and they believed that without offerings to Huitzilopochtli, the Sun would disappear forever. To this end, it is estimated that 10,000 people a year were sacrificed on the summits of the temples.
This piece, in four continuous sections, depicts the events surrounding the dedication of the Great Temple of Tenochtitlán in 1487, at which 80,000 victims were sacrificed to the Aztec Gods.
In the Realm of the Sun God was first performed by Northampton School for Boys Wind Ensemble, conducted by Barrie Johnson, at the BASBWE conference, Royal Northern College of Music, March 2004.
Publisher: Studio Music
Picc., Fls. 1.2, Obs. 1.2, Bb Cls. 1.2.3, Bb B. Cl., Bssns 1.2,
Eb A. Sax 1.2, Bb Ten. Sax., Eb Bar. Sax.,
F Hns. 1.2, Bb Tpts. 188.8.131.52, Trbs 1.2.3, Tuba, Timp., Perc 1.2.3
This piece is programmatic in nature, effectively telling the story in music of a great human sacrifice.
This is not supposed to be viewed as a recreation of "authentic" Aztec music, it has rather more the feel of a film score.
This was originally written for Brass Band and was re-arranged for Wind Band for Barrie Johnson at Northampton School for Boys.