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Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed : for fourteen players

by Yitzhak Yedid (2020)

Work Overview

Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed was inspired by the Temple Mount in Jerusalem - the holy yet explosive place, sacred to Muslims and Jews alike - and that my work is a documentary of sorts, about a blessed place (Kadosh Kadosh), which is also a locus of curses, of intra-religious violence. Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed is therefore a conflicting homage to my hometown, Jerusalem. The work, in two parts, consists of twenty-four connected tableaux, or musical scenes, that bridge the variegated compositional approaches originating from two remote, opposing musical traditions: on the one hand from Arabic art music and Mizrahi (Arabic-influenced, Jewish) Piyyutim (liturgical and paraliturgical ornate songs), and on the other from European traditions, avant-garde music, and improvisation.
Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed begins with an uproar followed by a quiet, unnerving, and asymmetrical rhythmic section growing towards a slow-building climax. This climax reflects the key attributes of the work as a whole: energetic, passionate, and unyielding. The few pauses in the score are full of tension, catapulting continuous forward motion through coherent transition from chordal to heterophonic, multi-voiced sections. The section entitled "Arabic-music like" is naturally woven through a chromatic transition from the first one. The texture travels naturally from 'the east' to 'the west,' reflecting the sounds one hears in Jerusalem, the 'loaded and explosive place' that inspired the work." The composer further describes Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed as "a meeting point between the ancient and the new, and between historic and current events, in both musical and philosophical, human terms. My interest in textures, derived from micro-intonations of Jewish tunes, led me to compose a multi-layered texture and to embed a Baqashot-Piyyut of Sephardic music into the sound of textural harmony in order to create a strange, surreal atmosphere.

Work Details

Year: 2020

Instrumentation: Flute, oboe, clarinet B flat, bassoon, horn in F,  trumpet in C, tenor trombone, piano, timpani, 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass.

Duration: 18 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

Commission note: Commissioned by AMP

First performance: by Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Lorraine Vaillancourt at Azrieli Music Prizes gala concert (Live streaming event (online only)) on 22 Oct 2020

Winner of the 2020 Azrieli Prize.

Awards & Prizes

Year Award Placing Awarded for/to
2021 Art Music Awards: Work of the Year: Large Ensemble Finalist Yitzhak Yedid


Kadosh Kadosh and Cursed

Performances of this work

22 Oct 2020: at Azrieli Music Prizes gala concert (Live streaming event (online only)). Featuring Le Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Lorraine Vaillancourt.

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