World stage premiere
Peter Sellars, director / Nieuw Sinfonietta/Asko & Schoenberg Ensembles / Reinbert de Leeuw
Dedicated to "the people of the State of Israel," Abraham and Isaac was commissioned by the Israel Festival Committee. Stravinsky agreed to set the story in Hebrew – a language he did not know. "I began to compose Abraham and Isaac because of the attractions of the Hebrew language as sound, because of the subject, and, not least, because I wanted to leave a token of my gratitude to the people of Israel." To a considerable degree, Hebrew is what this piece is "about."
This programme note can be reproduced free of charge in concert programmes with a credit to Boosey & Hawkes/Joseph Horowitz.