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Five Jewish airs : for cello and piano

by Robert Cuckson (1995)

Five Jewish airs


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Score & Part

Five Jewish airs : for cello and piano / Robert Cuckson.

Library shelf no. 787.4/CUC 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

1. "Mama si yo mimuero" ("Mother if I die, I don't want the hazzanim to sing at my funeral, but I want twelve boys led by my sweetheart to walk in procession."

Sephardic love-lament, the melody possibly of Greek origin.

2. "Etz Haim" (Tree of Life)

Sung for the Torah scrolls. From Hamburg, early 19th century, but based on the Portuguese song for Tal ("Dew" - sung on the last day of Passover.) One of the many possible antecedents of the hymn "Hatikva."

3. "Emechoh nososi"

A 14th century hymn-melody sung on the High Holydays to several texts, among others texts of Meshullam ben Kalymos (10th century) and Simeon ben Isaac ben Abun, uncle of Rashi (10th century). The cello bowings follow the Hebrew syllabification.

4. "Chabad Rikud" (Chabad Dance) A well-known Hassidic dance of exaltation.

5. "Ashre ayin ver hot dos gezen" ("Fortunate he whose eye has seen")

Principal section: "Hymn for the New Moon" from the Simchat Ha-nefesh (German, 18th century) set in Ukrainian style. Second theme: a mixed Hassidic and Ukrainian melody. The Yiddish words are found only in its second strain.

Work Details

Year: 1995

Instrumentation: Cello, piano.

Duration: 10 min.

Difficulty: Advanced — comparable to one of Bartok's Violin Rhapsodies

Contents note: 1. Mama si yo mimuero -- 2. Etz chayim -- 3. Emechoh nososi -- 4. Chabad rikud -- 5. Ashre ayin ver hot dos gesehn.

First performance: by Peter Sachon, Ariel Halevy — May 95. Mannes College of Music, New York


Performances of this work

May 95: Mannes College of Music, New York. Featuring Peter Sachon, Ariel Halevy.

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