This Cruel Moon – adaptable
Adaptable/"flex" scoring/6' - 7'30/Difficulty - Medium/2020
adaptable version, 5-part (SAATB)
arranged from the original version for concert band
PDF Full Set (digital)
Listen to This Cruel Moon (original version for winds)
Performed by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble
Conducted by Jerry Junkin
This piece is an adaptation of the middle movement of "Wine-Dark Sea: Symphony for Band." The full symphony tells the tale of Odysseus and his journey home following his victory in the Trojan War. But Odysseus' journey would take as long as the war itself. Homer called the ocean on which Odysseus sailed a wine-dark sea, and for the Greek king it was as murky and disorienting as its name; he would not find his way across it without first losing himself.
“This Cruel Moon” is the song of the beautiful and immortal nymph Kalypso, who finds Odysseus near death, washed up on the shore of the island where she lives all alone. She nurses him back to health, and sings as she moves back and forth with a golden shuttle at her loom. Odysseus shares her bed; seven years pass. The tapestry she began when she nursed him becomes a record of their love.
But one day Odysseus remembers his home. He tells Kalypso he wants to leave her, to return to his wife and son. He scoffs at all she has given him. Kalypso is heartbroken.
And yet, that night, Kalypso again paces at her loom. She unravels her tapestry and weaves it into a sail for Odysseus. In the morning, she shows Odysseus a raft, equipped with the sail she has made and stocked with bread and wine, and calls up a gentle and steady wind to carry him home. Shattered, she watches him go; he does not look back.