(click to view the full-screen score for the SATB-version)



Duration: ca. 6:00


For mixed choir a cappella (SATB) or upper voices (SSAA).


The first performance was given by Junger Kammerchor Mannheim on 6 December 2019 @Christuskirche, Eppstein.

Program Notes

The term Mōdraniht was first used in Beda Venerabilis writing De temporum ratione (eng. = The Measuring of Time) which was originally published in 725 a.C. and describes an anglo-saxon winter-feast. It was probably celebrated around winter solstice. In the Germanic-speaking parts of Europe the sun usually was associated with the image of the mother, therefore it might be possible that the Matres/Matronæ (=Goddesses, which mostly are portrayed as a threefold unity) were worshiped in these festivities. In this sense the winter solstice, which marks the longest night of the year, represented the beginning of life and the resurrection of nature, because from this point on the days grow ever longer.


How these festivities were held is not part of the written records however. Therefore the music of the piece Mōdraniht also describes an imaginary winter solstice celebration. We start in the middle of the night in a small village, where all the members of the community are getting ready for a hike to reach a ritual place, which lies some way outside the ancestral settlement. The path lies in thick snow and the cumbersome hike through the icy cold leads them to a hill which can be seen from way afar. They reach it at the break of dawn and ignite a large solstice bonfire.

Dominik Johannes Dieterle