We are delighted to share the news of a second Jeffrey Holmes portrait album released on MicroFest Records.
Following on from May the Bridges Burn Light My Way which we featured in May 2019 Rider of Darkness, Path of Light presents impressive performances of four substantial works exploring themes of Norse myths, transcendent legends and dramatic landscape – a recurrent theme in Holmes’ music.
The album opens with a powerful performance by bass-baritone Nicholas Isherwood and pianist Mark Robson of Holmes’ monodrama Urðarmána (Moon of Fate), a tale of mortality and destiny, wrath and acceptance, and violence and sublimity.
This is followed by Hagall (Hail) – a highly impactful portrait of a turbulent Scandinavian winter storm set in one large mythical arc, impressively interpreted by the Talea Ensemble.
The soaring violin line which brings Hagall to a close is followed beautifully by a complete change of atmosphere and scale with pianist Jason Hardink’s intimate recital of Thund (Thundering Waters).
The album ends, as it started, with a monodrama, this time for soprano Kirsten Ashley Wiest. In Myrkriða, Ljósleiðá (Rider of Darkness, Path of Light) two tales of death are intertwined and interpolated, building in intensity, approaching the moment of death from opposite directions in time and culminating in an ending a cappella soprano recitation, providing hope and solace. This is a performance with a magical quality, deftly weaving the many strands of Holmes’ writing.
An altogether engrossing listen, we thoroughly commend all involved! Scores and parts are available for all four works via Composers Edition.
Tags: Ensemble Variances, Hagall (Haglaz), Jason Hardin, Jeffrey Holmes, Kaun, Kirsten Ashley Wiest, Ljósleiðá, Mark Robson, Michael Kudirka, Microfest Records, Myrkriða, Myrkriða Ljósleiðá, Nicholas Isherwood, Path of Light, Rider of Darkness, Talea Ensemble, Tara Schwab, Thierry Pecou, Thund, Urðarmána [Moon of Fate], Yuri Inoo