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Bernstein, Leonard: Halil (1981) 16'
Nocturne for flute, percussion and piano

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perc:timp(optional)/4SD/4tom-t/BD/cyms/2susp.cym/2gongs/tam-t/2tgl/ 2wdbl/whip

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This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.

Composer's Notes

This work is dedicated “To the Spirit of Yadin and to his Fallen Brothers.” The reference is to Yadin Tanenbaum, a nineteen-year-old Israeli flutist who, in 1973, at the height of his musical powers was killed in his tank in the Sinai. He would have been twenty-seven years old at the time this piece was written.

Halil (the Hebrew word for “flute”) is formally unlike any other work I have written, but is like much of my music in its struggle between tonal and non-tonal forces. In this case, I sense that struggle as involving wars and the treat of wars, the overwhelming desire to live, and the consolations of art, love and the hope for peace. It is a kind of night-music which, from its opening 12-tone row to its ambiguously diatonic final cadence, is an ongoing conflict of nocturnal images: wish-dreams, nightmares, repose, sleeplessness, night-terrors and sleep itself, Death’s twin brother.

I never knew Yadin Tanenbaum, but I know his spirit.

— Leonard Bernstein

Reproduction Rights
This program note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with a credit to the composer.

Recommended Recording

Angelina Reaux (mezzo-sporano), Hans-Peter Blochwitz (tenor); BBC Singer/Avner Itai, Rochester Singers/Samuel Adler; Bonita Boyd (flute), Jean Barr, Barry Snyder, Gack Gottlieb (piano).
Naxos 8.559407

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