Tuesday Night New Music is a student-run, faculty-supervised concert series that offers the opportunity to hear music by the next generation of composers: current NEC composition students. The series is directed by Katherine Balch '14 Tufts/NEC and Sonnet Swire ’16, under the supervision of composition chair Michael Gandolfi.
Ari Sussman has provided the note on his work.
Jonas Tarm Thoughts of Prayer
Fiel Sahir, guitar
Yeeray Low Fugue
Kwan Yeung Brian Choi, Hee-Soo Yoon, violin
Nao Kubota, viola
Paul van der Sloot, cello
Delong Wang Intonation
Weixin Zhou, piano
Ari Sussman L’Dor Vador—From Generation to Generation
Mi Chamocha - V’Shamru - Yigdal
Karen Notoviz, soprano
Meghan Jolliffe, mezzo-soprano
Timothy Ayres-Kerr, Eric Viñas, tenor
Dylan Evans, bass
SarahAnn Duffy, Anneke Harger, treble
Harrison Honor, David Lien, percussion
Katherine Miller, piano
Ari Sussman, conductor
L’Dor Vador—From Generation to Generation is a three-movement work based on texts from the Friday Night Shabbat Ma’ariv service. It is scored for mixed choir, treble choir, piano, and percussion. It was the winner of Honorable Mention of the 2014 Guild of Temple Musicians Young Composers Award.
Mi Chamocha is composed for (Cantorial) soloist, SATB choir, two percussionists, and piano. Mi Chamocha is one of the greatest texts in Jewish liturgy. The large exclamation of “Who is like you, God” as the Israelites cross the sea from slavery in Egypt, is a haunting thought. I chose to represent this deep subject matter by composing a complex contrapuntal texture employing mixed modes. In spite of its complexity, I find Mi Chamocha easy to sing due to the clarity of the voice-leading. The piece opens with a recitative for the soloist, which contains a mix of harmonic (nat 7) and natural (b7) minor scales. The choral part, being polyphonic and modally diverse, creates a rich texture. Mi Chamocha was composed as if the choir were “B’nei Yisrael” (the people of Israel) and the soloist was Moses (or Miryam, Moses's sister).
V’Shamru is composed for two-part treble (childrens’) choir and piano. V'shamru is a prayer that is recited both before the Amidah (largest chunk of the service) on Shabbat evening, and also before Kiddush (ceremony of Wine) during Shabbat Morning. It is truly the perfect prayer for a treble choir. The text explains that the Israelites should observe Shabbat forever. As a young adult of twenty who recently graduated from a Jewish High School and is now in a small conservatory with a very small amount of Jews, I find it incredibly important that we teach our children about Shabbat and why we must observe it. I believe my part in teaching the observance is through music, and I feel that incorporating the English text as well as the Hebrew text will make it easier for the young singers of this piece to understand its meaning.
Yigdal is composed for two-part treble choir, SATB choir, percussion, and piano. The Yigdal is one of the most difficult pieces I have ever had to write. I feel that all of the versions of Yigdal that I have heard, whether at Camp Ramah or at my synagogue, even though I enjoy them, did not do proper justice to this incredibly powerful text. After all, “Yigdal” does
indeed mean “magnified” in Hebrew. I thought it would be appropriate to end my L’Dor Vador with a piece that combines all of the forces used so far, (the full SATB choir, the treble choir, percussion, and piano). It appeared to me as a powerful way to end the L’Dor Vador because it combines both choirs, creating a “generation to generation” moment. Despite much of the choral part being in unison, I feel it is still a challenge for the performer. Accompanied by a very demanding piano part and a suspended cymbal, this piece requires much focus and the ultimate feeling of praising God.
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