Halevi Trilogy

Poetry of Yehuda Halevi

By: (2013)
For: Choir
page one of Halevi Trilogy

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Difficult (Grades 7+)
10 minutes
Modern classical music
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One millennium ago, the Hispano-Jewish poet Yehuda Halevi flourished in the age of the chivalric Christian troubadours and the Golden Age of Islam, and his vast and mighty repertoire utilized rich and passionate imagery that strove for unity between secular and religious subjects. Halevi Trilogy is the result of a life-long appreciation of medieval spiritual literature, and summarizes a year of dramatic growth to my own wandering Jewish spirit. The first poem of this song cycle, Barkhu, is a song for the dawn, celebrating the warmth and rejuvenation of the rising sun following the darkness of night. The second song, Azov Lirot, is a wedding poem, evocative of pastoral and energetic love. The third song derives excerpts from an ode to Yitzhak ibn el-Yatom, a wealthy patron of the day, and praises the beauty and freshness of the Andalusian world during a delicious picnic in the fields. All three poems equate one and the same both the glorious transcendence of God, and His emblazoning of the natural world with the gifts conducive to human passion and worldly life. I hope, dear reader and listener, that their setting into song for multi-generational choir—with the élan of Flamenco—expresses a convincing, relevant, and fun jubilation worthy of these medieval Sephardic jewels.

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