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An Ancient Hebrew Ritual through the Eyes of a 20th-Century Composer: ’Psalm 20 for Orchestra’

31 August 2017

The creative impetus behind my orchestral piece ’Psalm 20’ (1994-96, revised 1998) is the Bible. Within the work, I draw from my research on ancient Hebrew music, including interpretation of its texts and compositional techniques. This piece is inspired by several scenes of the illusory ritual from the book of Revelation and the Prophets, and significantly draws upon the twentieth Psalm for its text. 

The two contrasting movements explore the ancient Hebrew ritual through the eyes of a 20th-century composer by first using a newly written melody that refers to Suzanne Haïk-Vantoura’s ’La musique de la Bible revélée’, and later by deconstructing and reforming the musical material in three fragments and reordered. The vertical and horizontal combinations of notes and ornaments deal with the reality of human life from the point of view of a modern Protestant believer.

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