Hyperion Records

Deux Mélodies hébraïques
1914; commissioned by Alvina Alvi
author of text

'Ravel: Songs' (CDA67728)
Ravel: Songs
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67728 
No 1: Kaddisch  Yithgaddal weyithkaddash scheméh rabba
No 2: L'énigme éternelle  Frägt die Velt die alte Casche

Deux Mélodies hébraïques
The success of the Chanson hébraïque led in 1914 to a commission from Alvina Alvi, a soprano with the St Petersburg Opera, to harmonize two further Hebrew melodies. Kaddisch (in Aramaic, ‘qaddish’) is a liturgical chant, the Magnificat of the synagogue service, but also sung by mourners after the death of a close relative. The mood is one of contained ecstasy, and tension is built out of the jarring between the melismata of the voice and the simple accompaniment with its unremitting G naturals. L’énigme éternelle is, by contrast, squarely metrical. The eternal puzzle of existence resolves into tra-la-las and the harshly repetitive accompaniment underlines the futility of pursuing the topic, in line with the composer’s agnostic stance that he found it hard enough to fathom his own motives without trying to understand those of a celestial Being.

from notes by Roger Nichols © 2009

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67728 track 25
Recording date
13 July 2008
Recording venue
All Saints' Church, East Finchley, London, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Mark Brown
Recording engineer
Julian Millard
Hyperion usage
  1. Ravel: Songs (CDA67728)
    Disc 1 Track 25
    Release date: June 2009
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