"Wisdom" A Setting of the Torah for Harp and Orchestra

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    bensajo on #217313

    Dear Harpists,

    I hope all is well with you. My name is Benjamin Sajo, a composer.

    Before I continue, I just read an article coming here about how there have been thousands of harp concertos written in the past hundred years. That being said, here’s another one that I would feel so honoured to receive your commentary.

    This work, “Wisdom” was written for the Azrieli Foundation’s composition contest for new Jewish music. My favourite aspect of the Jewish cultural heritage is the deep and fundamental connection between melody and prayer. This work represents a lifelong desire to set the Torah cantillation for orchestra.

    The harp part of this concerto literally follows the majority of the Ashkenazic melody of the portion of the Torah cantillation depicting the creation of the Tabernacle in the desert, the designing of the Ark of the Covenant. Rather than be a springboard for wild and unusual extended techniques and vivid chromatic shifts, the harp here is far more a figure of antiquity–I draw more inspiration from Benjamin Bagby’s rendition of “Beowulf” than anything else.

    The orchestra splits into two parts–the main body serves as commentary of the various materials and elements of the tabernacle; a quartet (or octet) of strings represents the Shekhina, the physical manifestation of G-d within the Tabernacle.

    I dedicated the work to my aunt, the harpist Erica Goodman.

    Here is a link to a synthetic mockup using NotePerformer:

    Here’s a link to the full score, because it’s too big otherwise to attach here:

    Please feel free to print off the individual harp part or the score. I’m based in Ottawa, Canada.

    Kindest regards, and thank you for your time,

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 2 months ago by bensajo.
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    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #218757

    Your aunt, Erica Goodman, is a marvelous harpist. She gave a remarkable performance at HarpMusicFest: the International Harp Festival of Philadelphia, and I love all of her recordings.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #218758

    Can you create a version for harp and organ or perhaps string ensemble? That would greatly facilitate performances in synagogues.

    bensajo on #218933

    @Saul Davis Zlatkovski

    Thank you for your kind words about my aunt and your interest in a chamber version of the piece! I would love to arrange the orchestral part into an organ part and keep the “shekhina strings” as a septet; in total 9 players.

    As well, the solo harp part can work as a solo piece.

    I’ve sent you a LinkedIn invitation.

    Kind regards,

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