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Jerusalem-Yerushalayim

composer
2007
author of text

 
The eyes of the world today are on Jerusalem. More than any other city, Jerusalem has captured hearts and imaginations around the world and continues to reflect the turbulent emotions of our troubled times. The city of Jerusalem has a complex, multi-layered history stretching back thousands of years, and continues today to be the literal and symbolic focus of many, often conflicting, aspirations. Jerusalem – placed at the centre of the world on mediaeval maps – a crossroads between Asia, Europe, and Africa. Jerusalem – occupied by Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Ottomans, British etc. Jerusalem – the scene of central events in Jewish history and in the Christian gospel – and now home to Jewish, Christian, and Islamic holy sites. While today’s media story is of division and hopelessness, the Bible tells an extraordinary story with a much longer perspective – a story of incredible hope that begins in Genesis with the wanderings of Abraham, and extends from these Semitic roots to a vision of lasting peace for all people, starting in Jerusalem.

In 2006 the composer Antony Pitts was inspired to begin sketching an oratorio that would tell, simply but powerfully, the Biblical story of Jerusalem – to audiences familiar with both great classical oratorios and popular musicals, and regardless of denomination or religious background, cultural perspective or political viewpoint. The result is an oratorio-musical with a libretto based on texts from the Tanakh (the “Old” Testament) laid out in a narrative order, and with the ancient Hebrew names for familiar Biblical characters and places (e.g. Avraham) – thus the double-barrelled title Jerusalem-Yerushalayim. The Biblical story of the city is told through twelve windows or snapshots in which Jerusalem is either the subject or the background; mirroring the four quarters of Jerusalem’s ‘Old City’, these are divided into four sections of three movements:

(A) the city in patriarchal times;
(B) the city as the capital of Israel and then of Judah up to its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar in 586BC;
(C) the city rebuilt under occupation until its destruction by the Romans in 70AD;
(D) the city as prefigured by prophets and unfolded in history;
and a coda looking forward to Isaiah’s vision of the wolf living together with the lamb.

The libretto was compiled by the composer and is drawn as directly as possible, given the limitations of English translation and the musical setting itself, from Biblical texts – texts which are both historical and prophetic, full of archetypes and resonances, and are at the same time about real people with their dreams, tragedies, and hopes. The music is new, but has strong historical echoes including familiar Western musical references such as Tallis’s Lamentations, Purcell’s My Beloved spake, Handel’s Zadok the Priest, and Parry’s I was glad – as well as various resonances from far outside the classical canon. In terms of practicality and approachability, and even structure, Jerusalem-Yerushalayim is modelled on Handel’s Messiah, and designed for widespread use: by professional vocal ensembles or amateur choirs, or a mix of both – with SATB soloists and flexible accompaniment.

Unusually, the first part of the oratorio to be completed was the conclusion – the choral coda entitled The peace of Jerusalem. It was premiered by the Choir of London, conductor Jeremy Summerly, in Israel in April 2007, and has since had performances in the UK by Tonus Peregrinus at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music, and by the Elysian Singers under the direction of the composer in the City of London. Tonus Peregrinus recorded the coda for Hyperion on an album called Alpha and Omega, and in June 2008 gave the world premiere of the complete oratorio at Opera Fringe in Down Cathedral, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland – to a standing ovation. The revised and expanded version of the oratorio was recorded in October 2011, followed by the U.S. premiere in May 2012 which was given by Choral Arts Cleveland under conductor Martin Kessler.

from notes by 1equalmusic © 2013

Les yeux du monde entier sont aujourd'hui attirés vers Jérusalem. Plus que tout autre ville, Jérusalem a ravi cœurs et imaginations autour du monde entier, et elle continue à réfléchir les émotions turbulentes de notre époque troublée. La ville de Jérusalem possède une histoire complexe, ayant de multiples couches qui s'étalent en arrière par millénaires. Elle continue aujourd'hui d'être littéralement et symboliquement le point de mire de nombreuses aspirations, souvent contradictoires.

Jérusalem—inscrite en plein centre du monde sur les cartes médiévales—carrefour entre l'Asie, l'Europe et l'Afrique. Jérusalem—occupée par Babyloniens, Persans, Grecs, Romains, Britanniques,etc. Jérusalem—scène où se déroulent les événements principaux de l'histoire des Juifs et de l'Evangile chrétienne—et maintenant le foyer de sites religieux juifs, chrétiens et islamiques.

Tandis que les médias ne parlent que de conflit et de désespoir, la Sainte Bible raconte une histoire extraordinaire avec une perspective bien plus longue—histoire d'une espérance incroyable qui débute en Genèse avec les pérégrinations d'Abraham et s'étend de ces racines sémitiques jusqu'à une vision de paix éternelle pour tous les peuples, à commencer de Jérusalem.

En 2006 le compositeur, Antony Pitts, a eu l'inspiration de commencer à esquisser un oratorio qui raconterait en toute simplicité mais profondément l'histoire biblique de Jérusalem—à l'intention d'auditeurs connaissant bien et les grands oratorios classiques et les comédies musicales, sans distinction de secte, de milieu religieux, de perspective culturelle ou de point de vue politique. Il en résulte un oratorio/une comédie-musicale dont le libretto est basé sur des textes du Tanakh (l'Ancien Testament) disposés par ordre de la narration, et qui se sert des noms hébreux anciens pour les personnages et les endroits bibliques bien connus (par exemple: Avraham)—et ainsi le titre à rallonge Jérusalem-Yerushalayim. L'histoire biblique de la ville est racontée à l'aide de douze vitres ou photos dont Jérusalem est soit le sujet soit le fond; elles reflètent les quatre quartiers de la «vieille ville» de Jérusalem, et elles sont divisées en quatre sections comprenant chacune trois mouvements.

extrait des notes rédigées par 1equalmusic © 2013
Français: Rosemary Pitts

Recordings

Pitts: Jerusalem-Yerushalayim
Studio Master: 1EMJ2ODownload onlyStudio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Pitts: Alpha and Omega
Studio Master: CDA67668Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available

Details

Movement 01a 'The King of Salem': Prelude (chorus) –  Adam Shet Enosh
Track 1 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [2'18] Download only
Movement 01b 'The King of Salem': Leave your country (chorus)
Track 2 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [2'31] Download only
Movement 01c 'The King of Salem': Blessed be Avram (chorus/Melchizedek)
Track 3 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [1'15] Download only
Movement 02a 'On Mount Moriah': Fear not (chorus/Abram) –
Track 4 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [3'53] Download only
Movement 02b 'On Mount Moriah': Avraham, take now your son (chorus/Abraham/Isaac) –  Avraham! Here I am.
Track 5 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [3'55] Download only
Movement 02c 'On Mount Moriah': ADONAI Yir'eh (Isaac/Abraham/Jacob/chorus)
Track 6 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [1'47] Download only
Movement 03 'Blessing and cursing': I carried you on eagles' wings (chorus/Moses)
Track 7 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [6'47] Download only
Movement 04a 'A house for the Lord': Dance (chorus) –
Track 8 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [0'59] Download only
Movement 04b 'A house for the Lord': I will not go home (David/chorus) –
Track 9 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [3'41] Download only
Movement 04c 'A house for the Lord': I have greatly sinned (David/chorus)
Track 10 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [4'32] Download only
Movement 05a 'Called by My Name': I was glad (chorus/Solomon) –  Give thanks to ADONAI for He is good
Track 11 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [4'04] Download only
Movement 05b 'Called by My Name': If My people (chorus)
Track 12 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [2'59] Download only
Movement 06a 'The King of Babylon & the Desolations of Jerusalem': Jerusalem, return to Me (chorus) –
Track 13 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [1'01] Download only
Movement 06b 'The King of Babylon & the Desolations of Jerusalem': I remember you (Jeremiah/chorus) –
Track 14 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [1'49] Download only
Movement 06c 'The King of Babylon & the Desolations of Jerusalem': When you were born (Ezekiel/chorus/Jeremiah)  Jerusalem, O Yerushalayim!
Track 15 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [1'43] Download only
Movement 06d 'The King of Babylon & the Desolations of Jerusalem': How alone! (Jeremiah/chorus)
Track 16 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [1'23] Download only
Movement 07a 'Seventy weeks': If I forget you, O Jerusalem (Daniel/chorus)
Track 17 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [1'55] Download only
Movement 07b 'Seventy weeks': O Lord, great God (Daniel/Gabriel) –
Track 18 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [4'47] Download only
Movement 07c 'Seventy weeks': Seventy 'Sevens' for your people (Gabriel/Daniel/chorus)
Track 19 on 1EMJ2O CD1 [5'12] Download only
Movement 08a 'The walls of Jerusalem': Koresh, king of Persia (Cyrus/chorus/Darius/Artaxerxes/Nehemiah) –
Track 1 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [4'27] Download only
Movement 08b 'The walls of Jerusalem': They that sow in tears (chorus)
Track 2 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [2'41] Download only
Movement 09a 'Hosanna!': Salvation (chorus) –
Track 3 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [2'03] Download only
Movement 09b 'Hosanna!': Break into joy (chorus/soloists)
Track 4 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [7'22] Download only
Movement 09c 'Hosanna!': Interlude (chorus)
Movement 10a 'Many days without a king': Tziyon shall be ploughed under (Micah/soloists/chorus) –
Track 6 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [4'48] Download only
Movement 10b 'Many days without a king': O send out Your light and Your truth (chorus)
Track 7 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [2'31] Download only
Movement 11a 'In the valley of dry bones': Can a woman's tender care? (chorus)
Track 8 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [1'00] Download only
Movement 11b 'In the valley of dry bones': Our bones are dry (chorus/Ezekiel)
Track 9 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [2'48] Download only
Movement 11c 'In the valley of dry bones': When Israel lived (chorus) –
Track 10 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [2'42] Download only
Movement 11d 'In the valley of dry bones': Halleluyah! (chorus)
Track 11 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [3'27] Download only
Movement 12a 'A house of prayer for all people': Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (chorus/Elijah)
Track 12 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [1'13] Download only
Movement 12b 'A house of prayer for all people': The fig tree puts forth its green figs (soloists/chorus)
Track 13 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [3'04] Download only
Movement 12c 'A house of prayer for all people': See, I make Jerusalem a cup of trembling (chorus)
Track 14 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [1'36] Download only
Movement 12d 'A house of prayer for all people': And on that day His feet shall stand (chorus) –
Track 15 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [1'13] Download only
Movement 12e 'A house of prayer for all people': You will arise … Shout for joy! (chorus/tenor) –
Track 16 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [2'37] Download only
Movement 12f 'A house of prayer for all people': You who thirst (soloists/chorus) –
Track 17 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [1'24] Download only
Movement 12g 'A house of prayer for all people': Then shall living waters stream (chorus)
Track 18 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [2'30] Download only
Movement 13 'Coda': The peace of Jerusalem  Though the mountains be removed
Track 1 on CDA67668 [8'15]
Track 19 on 1EMJ2O CD2 [9'10] Download only

Track-specific metadata for 1EMJ2O disc 1 track 5

Movement 2b: Avraham, take now your son (chorus/Abraham/Isaac) –
Artists
ISRC
GB-AJY-13-06405
Duration
3'55
Recording date
29 October 2011
Recording venue
Memorial Chapel, Charterhouse, Godalming, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Ben Parry & Alexander L'Estrange
Recording engineer
Daniel Halford & Richard Bland
Hyperion usage
  1. Pitts: Jerusalem-Yerushalayim (1EMJ2O)
    Disc 1 Track 5
    Release date: August 2013
    Download only
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