"Black Moon" is an expansive (approx. 28 min.) symphonic composition for viola, violin, cello and mid-size orchestra. It consists currently of 4 movements based on an original narrative. It served as guidance for the dramatic structure, yet the story is by no means a requisite for "understanding" this piece. The 3rd movement, in scherzo style, lends itself best for stand-alone listening or performing.
These are digital renderings, using Vienna Symphonic Library for orchestral sound samples.
Location: Cove of a Norwegian fjord, the medieval Inn "The Black Moon" part of a remote, tiny hamlet. Dramatis Personae: Innkeeper, guests, the sage, town-council men, Prince Vannetsgud, the counterpart of Nökken (or Nykkjen) both legendary water spirits, one good, one evil.
I. Rush To The Cove (Andante, 6:51)
A peaceful evening it is, until suddenly the Innkeeper's infant boy falls feverishly ill; commotion ensues when his health rapidly deteriorates. Guests wake up, townsmen are alerted, but no-one knows what to do. By lack of a village doctor, the old sage is called in and he calms everyone down. As luck will have it, there is a chance, and only one chance, he says, to help the infant survive. Legend has it that, only during a lunar eclipse, Prince Vannetsgud may rise from the water and use his healing powers. But they will have to descend to the cove and beg the water-spirit for help. The townspeople, the sage and guests alike start rushing their way to the cove below, down a treacherous path.
II. Rise Spirit, Rise (Adagio, 8:41)
(Based in part on the Norwegian traditional folk song “Heiemo og Nykkjen”*)
The sage tells guests and villagers to start chanting the ancient call for Vannetsgud's appearance. The water begins to whirl wildly but instead it is Nykkjen, the evil creature, who suddenly lashes out, threatening to drag people under and drown them. Fortunately, he fails. Then, finally, after a prayer and a ceremonial dance, the deep waters start churning, slowly, then faster. A vortex-in-reverse emerges and with increasing speed lifts Prince Vannetsgud up out of the water, while crashing waves throw him on the rocky shore. He is barely able to stand up when he receives the song* in his honor.
III. Return To The Inn (Scherzo, 5:53)
What was supposed to be a hopeful and joyful parade back to the Inn, unintentionally turns somewhat chaotic as the visibility diminishes and the Prince merely manages to stumble along. In their rush to get back to the Inn, the villagers are getting increasingly disoriented and discouraged. When they finally make it all the way up the treacherous path to the door of the Inn, the sage hails the safe return, however, the lunar eclipse reaches its peak while Vannetsgud is almost at the point of exhaustion.
IV. Beyond Breath (Allegro lamentoso, 9:07)
The infant displays signs of high fever and while he fades out of consciousness, the Prince is gasping for air, desperately trying to harness his healing powers. Hope vanishes as time goes by. With the guests and villagers standing helplessly by the Prince gives it his best effort but his powers deplete rapidly; after a short while he collapses and falls to the ground.At that precise moment, the infant opens his eyes and starts to mumble softly, oblivious of his good fortune and his surroundings. By now, the lunar eclipse is in its last throws, but the Prince's breathing has halted. The onlookers are torn between joy and sorrow for rebirth and death.
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