Craton: Mongolian Folk SongsBeowulf: The Orchestral Suite

    Mongolian Folk Songs

Composed for German violist Jürgen von Hagen in 2003, the work is comprised of six fantasias for solo viola and chamber orchestra based on traditional Mongolian folk songs. The viola was chosen as the solo instrument as it most closely approximates the range and timbre of the Mongolian morin-khuur. While stylistically Western, the music evokes the characteristic flavor of Mongolian folk songs of Central Asia. In “Uglee shaazgai,” the viola even mimics the famed khuumi technique of Mongolian throat-singing. The difficulty level of the work is advanced, and the total performance time is approximately 22 minutes.

Audio files (Sibelius playback) may be heard by clicking on the links below. A version of the work for viola with piano reduction has been published by and is available from Wolfhead Music.


1.  “Mandakh naran” (“Rising Sun”)
2.  “Jiji hot” (“Jiji Town”)
3.  “Banchen sum” (“Banchen Temple”)
4.  “Temujin
5.  “Horgoi torgon deel” (“The Brocaded Silk Deel”)
6.  “Uglee shaazgai” (“Garrulous Magpie”)

Full scores (printed or PDF) are available on request (189 pages). Contact the composer for more information or to request a score.

Special thanks to Bat-Orgil Burged for his kind assistance in the translations of the song titles.


Solo viola
Flute, Oboe, Bb Clarinet, Bassoon
Violins I & II, Violas, Violoncellos, Double Basses
Percussion Battery:  Bass drum, Woodblocks, Temple Blocks, Cymbals, Ratchet, Tambourine, Crotales, Tubular Bells, Birdwhistle

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