Urðarmána (Moon of Fate)

monodrama for bass-baritone and piano

Jeffrey Holmes

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monodrama for bass-baritone and piano

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Composer Jeffrey Holmes
Year of Composition 2012
Duration ca.13'



Student Difficulty

Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-jh1u1


Urtharmana [Moon of Fate] is a monodrama for bass-baritone and piano. The text of this work is in Old-Norse, and was mostly written by the composer, but also contains various fragments of text excerpted from anonymous Norse Eddic poetry. This work is one continuous monodrama, comprised of nine songs, each with its own prelude. The overall shape of the work follows the dramatic nature of the text…which deals with mortality and destiny, wrath and acceptance, and violence and sublimity. The construction of the piece features various “lietmotives” representing aspects such as fate, the cold wind, rain, the moon, the sea, cliffs on on mountaintop, etc. These motives are bound together through the use of a unique non-octave and microtonal pitch language, and a symmetrical and proportional organization of form and phrase structures. Urtharmana is highly dramatic work, often violent, and traverses several scenes depicting the desolation of the ancient Nordic wilderness.