Men of the North

A longstanding question of the Hall, posed rhetorically but meaningfully, has been 'where are our Wagners, our Beethovens, today?' One of them is Jeremy Soule.

Soule writes for Bethesda Softworks, and produced some few years ago one of the greatest orchestral pieces since Wagner.

If you have the nearly-four-hours, it is well worth your time throughout. The songs, echoing Tolkien, are in an invented language originally belonging to dragons. Although the game is an adventure, most of the music is peaceful rather than stressful: mostly it focuses on the beauty and wonder of creation, rather than the strife between creatures. But when it does consider conflict, it rises into the epic scale.

He has a new album out this year, which is symphonic sketches on the same scheme. It does not aspire to epic, and so it is not quite as powerful, but it is also well constructed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"American Dream" by Thomas Bergersen is another composition that suggests the composer might be a worthy successor to Copeland and Co. with a little more time and experience. He uses a number of traditional song fragments and hints to build a sound-picture of coming to America and building the country.

For modern choral music, Morten Lauridsen and Ola Gjello are the two best, although Mack Wilburg is not far behind when he composes rather than arranges. Eric Whitaker...meh. He has some things that are quite impressive, but he only as one "sound." Gjello and Lauridsen cover much broader ranges of musical expression.

My $.08 (two cents adjusted for inflation)