for Choir and Symphony Orchestra

A Hanukkah Celebration

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Duration: 6 minutes min.

Commission: The Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes

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The text of the piece The miracle of Hanukkah presents the story of Hanukkah to those who are not familiar with Jewish folklore. The text is a translation into English of “Al Hanisim”, a prayer from the Hanukkah liturgy (Sofrim 20:8). To complete the story of the Jewish uprising against the Greeks I have added an extra verse my translation of the liturgy. I have used a traditional folk melody for the “Al Hanisim” prayer as the basis for this symphonic piece. I expanded the chorus and two verses of the original tune to fit a more symphonic structure with an added development section. While the chorus and verse are sung in the original tempo, the second verse is sung by the choir at a much slower tempo after the development section, for greater dramatic effect. The orchestration is light and dotted with solos by the clarinet, a staple Klezmer instrument, and other members of the orchestra: violin, bassoon, and English horn. Much of the inspiration for this piece originates from the period of time in my life when I was playing in the orchestra of Giora Feidman, the famous Klezmer clarinetist.