contemporary classical
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Jeffrey Holmes

Jeffrey Holmes Hagall

for nine players

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Product Name Price Qty
Hagall - score (download)
Hagall - score
Hagall - score and parts (download)
Hagall - score and parts

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The title "Hagall" comes from the Old-Norse Runic symbol for hail (as in hailstorm). "Hagall" is the first of the "Winter" runes, implying a not yet fully-frozen landscape, but instead a period of transition and struggle. The individual runic symbol is accompanied by an ancient elemental poem in three parts, which creates the large-scale structure of the piece:

Cold Grain (Earth),
Shower of Sleet (Sky),
Sickness of Serpents (Sea).

There are several references to "primordial" instruments, including: the contra-bass clarinet imitating a Nordic lure, the French and English horns imitating primitive cow horns, non-pitched percussion instruments, various "non-octave" scales and complex compound-rhythms, and a variety of microtonalities including several uses of the overtone series.

Hagall is an expressive and dramatic representation of a turbulent Scandinavian winter storm set in one large mythical arc, comprised of constantly varied landscapes of intense moods and esoteric images, creating an epic journey of death.

Additional Information

Composer Jeffrey Holmes
Year of Composition 2015
Instrumentation Flute/Piccolo, Oboe/Cor Anglais, 1 Contrabass Clarinet, Horn in F, Percussion, Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Double Bass
Duration ca. 21'
Student Difficulty -

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