• 0000/1[+1].2.1+btbn.0/3[+1]perc/pf/hp/str
  • SATB Chorus
  • Baritone
  • 19 min

Programme Note

Richard Danielpour has become one of the most frequently commissioned North American composers of the current half-century. He has won numerous grants and fellowships and been resident composer in venues as far-flung as Schleswig-Holstein (at Leonard Bernstein's invitation), as well as closer to home in Seattle under music director Gerard Schwarz. For the current 1996-97 season he has been commissioned by the Yo-Yo Ma – Emanuel Ax duo, by the Ma-Ax-Pamela Frank Trio, by the Pittsburgh Symphony for its centennial, and by Florida's Jacksonville Symphony. The Canticle on tonight's program was commissioned by Ohef Sholom Temple, Norfolk Virginia, in honor of its 150th anniversary.

Based on Psalm texts in the first and second move¬ments, Canticle is scored for piano, harp, strings, percussion, pairs of horns, trumpets and trombones, a four-part chorus and, in the middle movement, a solo singer. The opening Exultation, from Psalms 149, 147, and 150 for chorus, is marked "Exuberant (ben misurato)" throughout. Mark Adamo remarked in The Washington Post on the "burnished, brazen orchestration [that] resounds ... beautifully." The middle Invocation movement based on Psalm 13 is written "Con rubato (slow waltz rhythm)" at the begin¬ning for soloist alone, and again at the close; a central section for chorus is marked "slightly slower" until an outburst from the singer. The concluding Benediction (Sim Shalom and Ose Shalom are liturgical prayers) has a Maestoso introduction, followed by a rhythmically joyous Con moto section before it concludes both slowly and very quietly.

— Roger Dettmer

Psalm 149 Sing to the Lord a new song,
His praises in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker;
Let the children of Zion exult in their king.
Let them praise His name in dance;
With timbrel and lyre let them chant his praises.
Psalm 147 It is good to chant hymns to our God;
it is pleasant to sing glorious praise.
Psalm 150 Let all that breathes praise the Lord,
Psalm 147 Sing to the Lord a song of praise,
chant a hymn with a lyre to our God,
Psalm 149 Sing to the Lord a new song,
His praises in the congregation of the faithful.

Psalm 13 How long, O Lord; will You ignore me forever?
How long will You hide Your face from me?
How long will I have cares on my mind,
Grief in my heart all day?
How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Look at me, answer me, O Lord, my God! Restore the luster to my eyes,
lest I sleep the sleep of death;
lest my enemy say, "I have overcome him,"
My foes exult when I totter.
But I trust in Your faithfulness,
My heart will exult in Your deliverance.
I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.

Sim Shalom Grant peace, welfare, blessing, grace, loving kindness and mercy, unto us and unto all Israel, Thy people. Bless us, O our Father, even unto all of us together, with the light of Thy countenance; for by the light of Thy countenance Thou hast given us, O Lord our God, the Law of life, lov¬ing kindness and righteousness, blessing, mercy, life, and peace and may it be good in Thy sight to bless Thy people Israel at all times and in every hour with Thy peace. Blessed art Thou O Lord, Who blessed Thy people Israel with peace.
Ose Shalom He who maketh peace in His high places, may He make peace for us and for all Israel and say ye, Amen.

— Richard Danielpour

Translations of Psalms from Kethubim (The Writing).The Jewish Publication Society of America, Philadelphia, copyright © 1982.

Translations of liturgy (Sim Shalom and Ose Shalom) The Authorized Daily Prayer Book by Dr. Joseph H. Hertz, Bloch Publishing Company, New York, copyright © 1948.