Hyperion Records

author of text

'Pitts: Jerusalem-Yerushalayim' (1EMJ2O)
Pitts: Jerusalem-Yerushalayim
1EMJ2O  Download only   Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
'Pitts: Alpha and Omega' (CDA67668)
Pitts: Alpha and Omega
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67668  Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Movement 01a 'The King of Salem': Prelude (chorus) –  Adam Shet Enosh
Movement 01b 'The King of Salem': Leave your country (chorus)
Movement 01c 'The King of Salem': Blessed be Avram (chorus/Melchizedek)
Movement 02a 'On Mount Moriah': Fear not (chorus/Abram) –
Movement 02b 'On Mount Moriah': Avraham, take now your son (chorus/Abraham/Isaac) –  Avraham! Here I am.
Movement 02c 'On Mount Moriah': ADONAI Yir'eh (Isaac/Abraham/Jacob/chorus)
Movement 03 'Blessing and cursing': I carried you on eagles' wings (chorus/Moses)
Movement 04a 'A house for the Lord': Dance (chorus) –
Movement 04b 'A house for the Lord': I will not go home (David/chorus) –
Movement 04c 'A house for the Lord': I have greatly sinned (David/chorus)
Movement 05a 'Called by My Name': I was glad (chorus/Solomon) –  Give thanks to ADONAI for He is good
Movement 05b 'Called by My Name': If My people (chorus)
Movement 06a 'The King of Babylon & the Desolations of Jerusalem': Jerusalem, return to Me (chorus) –
Movement 06b 'The King of Babylon & the Desolations of Jerusalem': I remember you (Jeremiah/chorus) –
Movement 06c 'The King of Babylon & the Desolations of Jerusalem': When you were born (Ezekiel/chorus/Jeremiah)  Jerusalem, O Yerushalayim!
Movement 06d 'The King of Babylon & the Desolations of Jerusalem': How alone! (Jeremiah/chorus)
Movement 07a 'Seventy weeks': If I forget you, O Jerusalem (Daniel/chorus)
Movement 07b 'Seventy weeks': O Lord, great God (Daniel/Gabriel) –
Movement 07c 'Seventy weeks': Seventy 'Sevens' for your people (Gabriel/Daniel/chorus)
Movement 08a 'The walls of Jerusalem': Koresh, king of Persia (Cyrus/chorus/Darius/Artaxerxes/Nehemiah) –
Movement 08b 'The walls of Jerusalem': They that sow in tears (chorus)
Movement 09a 'Hosanna!': Salvation (chorus) –
Movement 09b 'Hosanna!': Break into joy (chorus/soloists)
Movement 09c 'Hosanna!': Interlude (chorus)
Movement 10a 'Many days without a king': Tziyon shall be ploughed under (Micah/soloists/chorus) –
Movement 10b 'Many days without a king': O send out Your light and Your truth (chorus)
Movement 11a 'In the valley of dry bones': Can a woman's tender care? (chorus)
Movement 11b 'In the valley of dry bones': Our bones are dry (chorus/Ezekiel)
Movement 11c 'In the valley of dry bones': When Israel lived (chorus) –
Movement 11d 'In the valley of dry bones': Halleluyah! (chorus)
Movement 12a 'A house of prayer for all people': Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (chorus/Elijah)
Movement 12b 'A house of prayer for all people': The fig tree puts forth its green figs (soloists/chorus)
Movement 12c 'A house of prayer for all people': See, I make Jerusalem a cup of trembling (chorus)
Movement 12d 'A house of prayer for all people': And on that day His feet shall stand (chorus) –
Movement 12e 'A house of prayer for all people': You will arise … Shout for joy! (chorus/tenor) –
Movement 12f 'A house of prayer for all people': You who thirst (soloists/chorus) –
Movement 12g 'A house of prayer for all people': Then shall living waters stream (chorus)
Movement 13 'Coda': The peace of Jerusalem  Though the mountains be removed

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

Track-specific metadata
Click track numbers opposite to select

Details for HYP201308 track 6
Movement 12b: The fig tree puts forth its green figs (soloists/chorus)
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 2 Track 13
    Release date: August 2013
    Download only
  2. Hyperion monthly sampler – August 2013 (HYP201308)
    Disc 1 Track 6
    Release date: August 2013
    Download-only monthly sampler
   English   Français   Deutsch