Pythagoras of Samos (Drama Musical in one act)


Andersen Viana

Andersen Viana

Performance forces:
sop, ten, 2 bar, bass — pno, perc (Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Bass Drums, Susp. Cymbals, Snare Drums, Triangle, Ganzá) — SATB chorus



Musical Drama in one act. Characters: Pythagoras – Tenor Myia – Soprano (Daughter of Pythagoras) Apollonius – Baritone (Disciple of Pythagoras and suitor of Myia) Cylon – Bass (Pythagoras’s tormentor) Greek Soldier Soprano (Voice) Magna Graecia 495 BC, one year after leaving the island of Samos. Myia tells Pythagoras that it would be better to have come to Crotona than to stay on Samos under the tyrant Polycrates. He assures Myia that the most important thing is to keep the treasure of knowledge in memory, because tyrants and thieves will never be able to steal it. That’s when Pythagoras sings: “All is Number”. Apollonius wants to join the “Pythagoreans”. So Pythagoras asks what would bring the purification of the mind, the mastery of anger and aggression in the human being? To which Apollonius responds with the “Song of Peace”. Pythagoras says that he will be accepted as “Akousmatikoi”. Pythagoras sings “Life is like a spectacle”. Myia tells Apollonius that she was very pleased for him and that her father was a very demanding teacher. That’s when Myia remembers the “Lullaby”. Apollonius, who had not yet declared himself to Myia, hands her a white rose. Myia says that Pythagoras was a very strict father and that he disapproved of all his suitors, so she was a very lonely woman. Even though the feeling is mutual, she is afraid to leave Pythagoras for everything that could happen to him if she leaves. Pythagoras lectures on music and mathematics. Having established the existence of seven notes in the musical scale, he associated them with the planets. Cylon – aspiring disciple – wants to join the “Pythagoreans”, when the master assures him that he would also have to face a difficult test. Cylon says yes and that he was valiant, especially in hunting animals. So, Pythagoras asks Cylon what exactly would be the union of the notes that, when played simultaneously, produced a pleasant sound to the ears. Cylon replies that this could only be the sound of swords clashing in the air. Pythagoras says that for the second time he is not fit and that he would never be accepted as a disciple, which greatly infuriated Cylon. Apollonius ponders to Pythagoras that perhaps it would be better to leave Cylon as “Akousmatikoi”, as he was a powerful noble in the city. Pythagoras replies that not only does he lack the skills and intelligence to do so, but he is the moral antithesis of the ideal. Meanwhile, Apollonius tells Pythagoras about his love for Myia and the two argue over this issue. Pythagoras refutes all attempts by Apollonius. With hatred, Cylon begins a monologue saying that Pythagoras is too old to understand him and that, from now on, all those squalid beings would be his enemies. Therefore, he swore to himself and to the gods that he would take revenge and that he would destroy all the “Pythagoreans”, dissipating them from the face of the earth. Myia and Apolônio are practicing the harp and singing when, suddenly, Cylon appears and begins to lecture about their way of life. During these dialogues Cylon sings “Man is Mortal”. Cylon says that school would have an unexpected end right at that moment. Suddenly, a Greek Soldier appears who, to the astonishment of those present, takes out his sword and executes Apollonius and others, while Myia flees. Myia explains to her father what had happened, what Cylon had done – killing his disciples and scaring the others away. Pythagoras rants about the deeds of tyrants and that now there wouldn’t be much else to do, unless she left before it was too late. That’s when Myia and Pythagora’s duet with “Melancholia” appears. She is reluctant, but finally agrees and leaves carrying the manuscripts. In the temple of Apollo Pythagoras plays his lyre, interspersed with meditative silences. Suddenly, Cylon appears and Pythagoras becomes aware of his presence. He asks what Cylon came to do at the temple, if he was there to kill him. Cylon replies that they both knew that the temple of Apollo protected him and that he didn’t want his death. Instead, he had brought bread and milk. Pythagoras said he would rather die. Sad and lonely, Pythagoras, in his monologue, says that everything is over, he was sure that his soul was immortal and that after death, it would be transferred to another body. Pythagoras sings: “Life is like a Spectacle”. Pythagoras dies. Cylon is alone. After Pythagora’s death, he begins to have visions of the master, of the god Apollo, initiating hallucinations. It’s the beginning of a gradual insanity that only gets worse and worse, until it gets to the point where it catches the Soldier’s attention. Cylon notices his presence in the room and starts saying rambling things trying to grab him as if that man were his salvation. The Soldier responds saying that he would save him, but that there was only one way to cure him of all that madness. Quickly the Soldier takes out his sword and executes him. Copyright © 2019 by Andersen VIANA – All Rights Reserved [email protected] Required percussion: Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Bass Drums, Susp. Cymbals, Snare Drums, Triangle, Ganzá