<< -- 2 -- Jennifer Paull AARON RABUSHKA
For me, an unconditional supporter of the Psalter translated by Miles
Coverdale (1536), I miss the beautiful Old English. I fully realise that
this is not the common tongue of the man in the street today, but then neither
is Aramaic. Of course, the meaning is the same, but the intensity of the
poetry is not.
The text set by the composer being Aramaic, I shall simply indulge myself
by illustrating it in the translation of my personal choice, and not that
of the recording company!
'When the Lord turned again the captivity of Sion: then were we like
unto them that dream.'
The soprano introduces the first words of the text and the flute takes
over in a long, beautiful quasi recitativo above the strings. One
is carried away on an evocative flight to the Land of Dreams.
In Rabushka's own words:
'This work presents a rhapsodic soundscape that springs from the often
dreamy expressions of Psalm 126. The soprano's text is based upon the Targum
Onekelos, one of the Arameic translations of the Old Testament.
The title, Concerto Vocale refers to the interactive play of solo
voice with instruments, and among the instruments themselves. It derives
from the vocal concertos of the Baroque Era in which the interactions of
individual voices and instruments expressed and expanded the meaning of
the text. The orchestra for this work grew around the sounds I began to
hear in connection with this Psalm. It's structure evolved intuitively,
guided by the text. The instruments respond to the soprano's declamations,
with flute and violin being predominantly featured as soloists.'
The soprano completes the first verse, and the flute further explores
its opening 'recitative' above wood blocks, piano (directly plucked
strings), and string pizzicati in a dialogue with the solo violin. This
is simply beautiful. The flute and the violin are like birds encircling
Then was our mouth filled with laughter: and our tongue with joy ...
Yea, the Lord hath done great things for us already: whereof we rejoice.
Rabushka does rejoice! This might be a most surprising juxtaposition,
but a polka, a general letting down of the hair (or head dress), and having
a good time, is what happens next, bringing dreams to an earthly reality.
Copyright © 7 July 2002
Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland
A REVIEW OF THE 'MUSIC FROM SIX CONTINENTS' CDS
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