shir molodet (satb)


  • Catalog ID: S-441
  • First Line: Shir molodet
  • Composer: Osnat Netzer
  • Voicing: satb
  • Accompaniment: a cappella
  • Language: Hebrew
  • Country: Israel
  • Series: Cantemus (ifcm)
  • Other: new 2018
  • Score: View Score
  • Sound: Listen


Cultural Context

Israel has a remarkably diverse culture of choral music, and a rich history. During the British Mandate of Palestine, choruses were active across the country as early as the 1930s, championing works by immigrant composers such as Marc Lavri, Oedoen Partos, and in the 1940s, this included composers such as Paul Ben-Haim and Alexander Uriah Boskovich. Early choral music in Israel was rooted in European traditions, but also incorporated some elements of Arab music and Jewish folk and liturgical music. 1952 was a landmark year for Israeli choral music, with the founding of the Zimriya, a triennial international choral festival, hosting Israeli choirs as well as choirs and conductors from around the world. During the 1950s and 1960s choral singing and vocal training ourished in kibbutzim, with the founding of the Israel Kibbutz Choir. These decades also bene ted from the artful music of Yehezkel Braun, Mordecai Seter, and Emanuel Amiran. There are active Arab choirs in the predominantly Jewish state. With an ever growing repertoire of new Israeli choral music in Hebrew, Arabic, and other languages, and the founding of youth, amateur, semi-professional, and professional choirs, choral music is still a growing eld. Notable developments in the early 2000s and beyond include e orts to bring together Israelis and

Palestinians, with projects such as Shlomo Gronich’s Voices for Peace Choir, a collaboration between the youth choirs Efroni and Sawa, and Common Ground Voices.

André de Quadros

Program Notes

Shir Moledet is the rst of three movements of the piece Paths of Stone and Water. Through the vantage point of three texts of di erent nature and origins (modern Hebrew poetry, psalms, and modern liturgical), Paths of Stone and Water examines water, stone, and the human in myriad ways. The text of Shir Moledet is by Yehuda Amichai, and portrays a complex relationship of the poet to the city of Jerusalem, familiarizing himself with local waterways through ‘the tears’—his tears? Collective tears shed over the city? The poet leaves this ambiguous.

Jerusalem architecture is known for its ubiquitous use of Jerusalem stone, and thus stone and water become symbols through which the poet can examine his own reaction to this city loaded with history and religion. The music of this movement pays tribute to the Israeli Mediterranean School of the 30s and 40s, in its use of modality and alternating homophonic and polyphonic textures. My own charged relationship to Jerusalem comes into play in the latter part of the song, where the words “currently I am more inclined to favor stones” are laden with harmonic poignancy.

Osnat Netzer

Performance Notes

This movement is meant to be quite crisp and rhythmical, with elements such as the “sh” of shir providing vocal percussion. In contrast, the section marked un poco meno mosso should soften the previous marcato, animated music, and should be performed sweetly, tenderly. The movement should end with the same gusto and rhythmic crispness as its beginning. The piece is inspired by Renaissance choral music, in that whichever part is moving at a given time within a polyphonic section should sound most prominent and be brought out. Homophonic sections may slightly favor outer voices in terms of balance.

A recording of this piece can be found here:

A spoken pronunciation guide is available upon request.