for soprano and piano

Jeffrey Holmes

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for soprano and piano

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Composer Jeffrey Holmes
Year of Composition 2019
Duration ca.13'



Student Difficulty

Categories (all composers) , ,
Catalogue ID ce-jh1m1


Mara, for soprano and piano, is comprised of three sections or images, each preceded by an instrumental introduction, all culminating in a final closing section. Each of the three sections or images portrays a dream state: a winter landscape; night falling; the abyss or chasm of the primordial sea. These three dreams are then recapitulated in reverse order, but now the dreams have passed from psychological fantasy to the physical realm, by being conjured through the recitation of a magick runic formula. Each of these images manifest in contrasting, though related, intertwined musical materials: non-octave harmonies for the freezing mist and silent lake; polyrhythmic scales for the serpent-like turbulent river; arpeggios across wide registers for the violent sea. Mara is a highly virtuosic and dramatic work that is neither a song-cycle nor theater, but instead exists beyond reality, as a union of the cerebral and the imagination. Mara was composed during the winter of 2019 in Lake Arrowhead, California, for Kirsten Ashley Wiest.