Zemer Atik and other Jewish songs


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Orpheus Music

Composer: Thorn - Benjamin

Instrumentation: Descant - Treble - Tenor - Bass

Period/genre: Folk/Trad

Grade: Moderate

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*Contemporary Pieces.* Lively and rhythmic versions of traditional Jewish songs with one or two metrical surprises.

1. Zemer Atik
2. Shalom Chaveyrim
3. Chossn Kalah Mazel Tov
4. Hava Nagila

_Score 15 pp. Parts 4 pp._

  • Reviews
  • OMP135 Benjamin Thorn Zemer Atik and other Jewish Songs

    The Australian composer Benjamin Thorn was born in Canberra and studied at the Canberra School of Music and the University of Sydney. He has a Ph.D. in Theatre Semiotics and a Dip.Ed. He performs mostly on recorder and has published a number of articles on music and theatre. Thorn believes that there is not enough music inspired by vegetables and crocodiles.

    I doubt that any of these traditional Jewish songs were inspired by either of the above, but Thorn does not provide translation of the titles. There are four songs: "Zemer Atik" (wedding dance), "Shalom Chaveyrim" (Peace, friends, 'til we meet again), "Chossn Kalah Mazel Tov" (congratulations, bride and groom) and "Hava Nagila" (let us rejoice).

    All parts are well-composed for the recorders, with comfortable ranges and interest in all voices. Intermediate consorts will find these arrangements enjoyable and a bit challenging - especially a number of 7/8 bars in two of the songs. Players unfamiliar with this odd meter may have to count eighth notes at first.

    Bill Rees , American Recorder, November 2009.

    OMP135 Benjamin Thorn Zemer Atik and other Jewish Songs

    This is a delightful collection of four songs - several of which may be well-known to you. They are great fun to play, with the interest well distributed between all four parts. They are mostly lively with plenty of rhythmic excitement (it took a little while to get the sections in 7/8 working smoothly). Technically they should present few problems -  just a few chromatic scales with some syncopation. 

    The music is very clearly printed in both score and parts. The bar numbering system is not always consistent between pieces in terms of numbering incomplete bars so you may need to check you are all starting in the same place!

    Overall the pieces sound very effective and would make great concert items - either individually or as a set. I would definitely recommend them to groups looking for something a little bit different to play and can imagine that they would appeal to groups of all ages.

    Sheila Richards, The Recorder Magazine, XX-XX.  

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