Symphony No. 5

Daniel Asia

Publisher: Merion Music, Inc.
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Symphony No. 5 is for orchestra, tenor and bass-baritone, and choir. It is an elaborate song cycle based on the poetry of Paul Pines and Yehuda Amichai, and three Psalms. The texts, in their entirety, thus present an American Jewish experience, a modern Israeli experience, and the timelessness of the literature of the Jewish Bible, which provides the foundation that unites these different views of Jewish life in the 21st century. The work revels in the commonalities and disparities of these worlds.

Pines? poems bring together very disparate worlds, uniting a wealth of emotional perspectives. The imagery ranges from Ecclesiastes to the Blues, stating something universal that is culled from the simple and earthy. At the core of the work is man's uneasy place in the universe; that of a curious bystander to his own inner world, living in a physical world he also hardly understands. How these interior and exterior worlds meet and interact is the enigma at the center of these poems. However it is an enigma that is often imbued with a wry and delicate sense of humor.

Amichai works at unraveling the relationship between the people of Israel, the Jews, the Situation, the individual living in these circumstances, and his relationship to God. The language ranges from discussions of God?s presence, slaughtered chickens, Auschwitz, the nature of life in Jerusalem/Israel, universal riddles, soldiering, and the curious relationship between God, Man and the natural world.

Because the worlds and approach to poetry of Pines and Amichai are, it seems to me, radically similar, I have chosen to alternate the presentation of their texts in two large groups, allowing each poem to comment on, or allude to, the other. These two groups are introduced, separated, and then concluded, with three settings of sacred texts, including two psalms, Nos. 23 (the Lord is My Shepherd) and No. 155 (The Lord who has remembered us will bless us), and a text that follows Psalm 150 in the Jewish morning prayer service. It begins ?Blessed be the Lord forever..? and is a compilation of short snippets from Psalms 89, 135, and 72, and it could almost be considered a liturgical stretto. These three sacred utterances provide the framework and context for the more secular poetry.

Available on Rental

Additional Information

Composition Date 2008
Duration 00:35:00
Orchestration Solo Tenor, Solo Bass-baritone, SATB Chorus, 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(3dbl. B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp., 3Perc. Pno.(Cel.) Hp. Str.
Premiere November 7, 8, 9, 2008, Tucson Symphony Orchestra with the Tucson Symphony Choir (Bruce Chamberlain, Director), conducted by George Hanson. Robert Swenson, Tenor, Kelly Anderson, Baritone.


I Adonai Z?kharaynu
II The Baal Shem Tov
III God?s Hand in the World
IV Brooklyn
V Jerusalem
VI. Fluid Mechanics
VII Through Two Points Only
VIII Psalm #23
IX I shall cook me bacon, Lord
X Sonnet from the Voyage
XI Where we Once Refused to Go
XII Almost a Love Poem
XIII You See My Old Wandering Jew?Pont L?Archiveche
XIV A young Soldier?From In a Right Angle: a Cycle of Quatrains
XV Barukh Adonai L?Olam

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