Hydra is a programmatic work based on the ancient Greek myth, Hercules. As a penance for grisly crimes he committed while overcome by a supernatural force, Hercules was given twelve difficult and almost impossible tasks to complete. His second task was to find and kill the Hydra, a water serpent with nine heads.
The music begins with a slithering sensation depicting Hercules’ quest for the Hydra. Once he found the Hydra, a horrific fight ensued. Hercules began swinging his sword desperately. However, each time he chopped off a head with his sword, two heads grew back in its place. The fight went on for a lengthy period of time. The music progressively becomes more erratic and raucous as the fight intensifies.
Victory was finally achieved when Hercules used a burning brand to sear the necks as he cut each head off.
parts included: Trumpet in Bb 1, 2, Horn in F, Trombone, Tuba