commissioned by the K.F. Moed en Volharding (Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium), Tom De Haes wrote the work Hercules. This great mythological hero (called Herakles by the Greeks) is especially known for the twelve immensely tough labours that he completed; according to the composer, he epitomises the qualities 'moed' (courage) and 'volharding' (perseverence).
Hercules is a lively composition with strong motifs and a challenging rhythmic complexity, as well as modest, lyrical melodies and a grand finale. The perfect intervals of the fourth and the fifth form the basis of the melodic construction, and are symbol of Hercules' power. The concise motif from the opening fanfare is transformed to an energetic and rhythmic theme that takes an arduous trip through very complex metres, and gradually dies out. Above a cloud of soft trumpet echoes, the cadence of the soprano saxophone announces the pleasant atmosphere of the slow middle movement. The broad, expressive melody that emerges here, opens with the same fourth and fifth leaps. After several harmonic wanderings, peace is restored. In the subsequent allegro, a true fugue appears on a thematic derivative of the lyrical melody. The bubbly polyphonic playing above the ominous 10/8-cadence in the percussion, develops into a majestic return of the theme from the slow middle movement. The composition ends powerfully with a presto in which the main motifs pass in revue once more. Hercules is a challenge for conductors as well as musicians who wish to demonstrate their courage and perseverance!
Hercules, The Royal Netherlands Army Band 'Johan Willem Friso', DHR 04-030-3, 2010
The Lost Labyrinth, Fanfare Band of the Royal Netherlands Army Mounted Regiments, DHR 12-012-3, 2009