hava nagila

hava nagila

Hava Nagila: Rhapsodie Hébraiques N.1

4d ago
SOURCE  

Description

This widely famous tune originates from a "hora-like" dance-song. All through it the Phrygian minor dominant scale is present, a very common aspect in music of Balkans. Lyrics are attributed to Abraham Zevi (Zvi) Idelsohn. Written around 1918 and celebrating the declaration of Balfour. Psalm 118 (verse 24) of the Hebrew Bible is considered the source of the lyrics: 24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Lyrics (in shortened form): Let's rejoice and be happy; Let's sing and be happy; Awake brothers with a happy heart. Fervent researcher and aficionado of Jewish music and Klezmer, the composer adopts here an expanded tonal language and models his renditions of the traditional Jewish melodies on the Hungarian Rhapsodies by Franz Liszt. The themes featured in this series are laden with centuries of passion, love, hope and despair. They are the expression of most natural, sincere and authentic feelings. They move us directly and are able to speak to anyone at all times. Melancholy, sorrow, heartache coexist with bright cheerfulness and happiness in both minor and major modes. This selection of eight numbers among the vast Ashkenazi music repertoire includes a number of Klezmer tunes as well. In some pieces, for instance the "Hanukkah Medley" N.8 and "Purim" N.6, several related themes are combined and used together. In "Shalom Aleichem" N.2, both "Shalom Aleichem" melodies are used. Other Rhapsodies are variations and developments on one single tune except for "Hora Mamtera" N.3 where three Nigun's are used in the middle section. In both spirit and pianistic elaboration, even for the wording of the title, Hebraic Rhapsodies reflect on the Hungarian Rhapsodies by Franz Liszt. There is a resemblance, more in spirit than in actual notes, between Liszt's tunes borrowed from Roman folk culture and the Hebraic themes. Also the Hungarian musical scale and other scales found in Gypsy music are close to many Hebraic modes and scales. Is this music religious or profane? The boundaries are very blurred here. The religious feelings interact with the profane in the most true Jewish tradition. No hard and set distinction: in the joy of life we found the true expression of G-d. The pieces are: 1. Hava Nagila הבה נגילה 2. Shalom Aleichem שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם‎ 3. Hora Mamtera 4. Der Rebbe Elimelech און אז דער רבי עלימעלעך 5. Donna Donna דאַנאַ דאַנאַ 6. Purim פּוּרִים 7. Kol Nidrei כָּל נִדְרֵי 8. Hanukkah (Medley) חֲנֻכָּה The pieces featured are: Hava Nagila, Shalom Aleichem, Hora Mamtera, Der Rebbe Elimelech, Donna Donna, Purim, Kol Nidrei and Hanukkah (Medley). {these videos are scaled-down versions from the DVD release available at amazon.com}