Aurora Borealis is a piece based on the idea of musical scenes depicting differing views and interpretations of the Northern Lights in the Arctic. Throughout history, the Aurora Borealis has been seen and interpreted by many different civilizations. In Roman mythology, Aurora is the goddess of dawn, renewing herself every morning to fly across the sky, announcing the arrival of the sun, the Cree call the phenomenon the ‘Dance of the Spirits’. In Medieval Europe, the auroras were commonly believed to be a sign from God. and in Finnish, their name ‘Revontulet’, for the Aurora Borealis translates to ‘Fox Fires’, coming from an ancient myth where a magical fox sweeps his tail across the snow spraying it up into the sky. The piece combines a variety of these myths to create a tone poem, evoking these different scenes.


The piece opens by setting the scene of a mysterious atmosphere surrounding the phenomenon with hushed muted sounds before introducing the chorale-like motif heard in the lower end of the band which is based on the belief that the aurora borealis is a sign of God. This moves towards a climax in the music as the aurora borealis appears brightly in the sky. Various signs of danger are heard in the band before the piece heads quickly into the Presto con fuoco section, which depicts the view of the auorora borealis being a sign of danger and a bringer of bad luck. The piece then moves into a calmer section where a presentation of the chorale-like motif is heard in a more tranquil setting, however this short-lived tranquility is interrupted by a return of the Presto con fuoco section before heading into a fast and furious ending which is a celebration of the wonder.

Duration: 9:30 mins

Aurora Borealis (Brass Band) - Ben Hollings

SKU: 000006
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