Adonai Malach (2011)

Program Notes:

The text is verses 1-2 and 10-12 from psalm 97, in the original Hebrew.

Here's a translation of the text:

"God has reigned, The world will rejoice, numerous islands will be glad. Cloud and fog surround Him, righteousness and justice are the foundations of His throne. Lovers of God, despise evil! He who guards the souls of His devout ones, will save them from the wicked. Light is sown for the righteous; and to the upright of heart, gladness. Rejoice, O righteous, in God, and give thanks at the mention of his holiness!" I was inspired by the Organum Quadruplum of the Medieval composer Perotin which adds three voices to a slow-moving cantus firmus in the lowest voice. I decided provide the same treatment to the Jewish chanting of psalm 97, as it is chanted in the Friday night services by Jews of European descent. The piece begins with a section that uses octaves, fourths and fifths as the consonant intervals in relation to the cantus firmus (just like Perotin). Two middle sections use other (progressively smaller) intervals as their "consonant" relationship. The final section returns to the opening intervals. The piece is rounded off with (and interrupted by) a recitation of the original chant