Twilight of the Gods (Grade 5)

Twilight of the Gods is the first of two collaborations with graphic artist Erik Evensen.  Twilight of the Gods was commissioned by a consortium  of universities, community colleges, high schools, and community bands and premiered at the College Band Directors National Conference, W/NW Division, in Reno, NV in March, 2010. It has since been performed by some of the nation's leading concert bands, including the University of Nevada, Ohio State University, Albion College, and Concordia College.

 

Twilight of the Gods depicts the story of Ragnarok, the end-of-the-world myth from Scandinavian mythology.  It can be translated as "final destiny of the gods," or "doom of the gods", a translation used by Richard Wagner in the final part of his The Ring of the Nibelung operas.  The story encompasses a series of events, starting with a relentless winter leading to a series of civil wars across the earth, and concluding with a great battle between the gods and their adversaries, resulting in their deaths and the destruction of earth.  The earth then rises once more, new gods take control of the heavens, and the human race is born again through two survivors.

 

The Ragnarok myth is a complex story, and it has been assembled through different literary sources, providing differing information.  We have taken some artistic liberty with some of the plot points for the sake of narrative structure and to illustrate the story's cyclical nature.  Mythologically, Ragnorak completes the "story arc" of the Norse myths.  Its fatalistic take on the old Norse religion and its final glimmer of hope show a faith that the end of the world is really just the beginning of better times.    -Erik Evensen