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The new moon

First line:
Day, you have bruised and beaten me down
2012; SATB divisi; commissioned as part of a collection of Moon Songs by 12 different Latvian composers by Kamēr and Māris Sirmais who have the first performance in Riga on 25 February 2012
author of text

The new moon was Ēriks Ešenvalds’ contribution to Moon Songs, a 2012 collection of pieces about the moon by ten Latvian composers that was commissioned by the outstanding Riga-based youth choir Kamēr… (which translates as ‘While…’). The words are by the troubled and tragic Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sara Teasdale, who died by her own hand in 1933, and whom Ešenvalds has set on a number of occasions.

The opening chorale is a forthright one, accusing and angry, its diatonic dissonances intensified by sidesteps into homophonic canon. But as the moon is caught sight of ‘over the factories … in the cloudy seas’, the texture itself clouds over as the canonic iterations are gradually subsumed into an oscillating pair of thick, quiet chords. From the hard-won stillness a new chorale emerges as the ‘maiden moon wakes up in the sky’ (the moon is male in Latvian mythology, but not here). Tuned wine glasses and chimes create an other-worldly halo around this wondrous apparition, which eventually recedes into unresolved nothingness, as the afterglow resonates into silence.

from notes by Gabriel Jackson © 2015


Ešenvalds: Northern Lights & other choral works
Studio Master: CDA68083Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Ešenvalds: There will come soft rains & other choral works
Studio Master: SIGCD603Download onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available


Track 2 on CDA68083 [4'14]
Track 2 on SIGCD603 [3'48] Download only

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