for mezzo-soprano, SATB choir and orchestra
Yitzhak Averbuch Opraz (Hebr)
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Edna Prochnik, mezzo-soprano / Opera Choir / Jerusalem Choir / Chamber Choir of Rishon LeZion / Israel Symphony Orchestra Rishon Le / Ami Maayani
The original idea was to create a Requiem in the traditional Western European form and style. The Hebrew poems are interwoven with the Latin text of the Requiem Mass. This structure was later changed to a symphonic form. The work is now a mixture of the Romantic Symphonic Tradition with the Mediterranean esprit.
"Maayani’s Hebrew Requiem is a masterpiece – monumental, profound and deeply moving. It has a wonderful balance between the instrumental and vocal parts and Yitzhak Orpaz’s beautiful poetry shapes the work’s spiritual world... The first movement ‘To the Memory of My Father and Mother’ erupts turbulently and then settles down to a dirge-like slow section which is declamatory in style. Edna Prochnik’s voice rose from depth to dramatic heights with complete stability. The second movement ‘Farwell: Dead, Dead is the Prophet’ is no less absorbing. The choir now moves into focus, giving cries from all directions which remain unanswered. There are dialogues which are cut off. Distress and pain are everywhere. The third movement, the scherzo-‘Ode’ is wild. In classic A–B–A form its main A section ‘Halleluya’ uses a basic motif of simple diatonic, three-tone sequence of two major seconds which assume overpowering strength. When the motif returns after the lyrical B section the effect is breathtaking. The fourth movement is a wild dithyrambic hymn in honour of Jerusalem. Maayani has always had a marvelous talent for Orchestration and his Hebrew requiem opens up ever new horizons in his music. The essence of the Middle East is clearly there but the work also encourages a more universal language." (Benyamin Bar-Am, Jerusalem Post, 11 Apr 1990)