Menorah

Programme note

The seven-branched Menorah candelabra is a very well-known Judaist symbol that, apart from its religious relevance, symbolises purity, harmony, and the perfection of heaven and earth. It is the number 7 that has a strong link with the menorah, as well as the number 4, creating an association with the seasons and days of the week, but more so with the concept of the Tree of Life.

Although it was these philosophical ideas about the menorah that was at the back of my mind when composing the work, the symbol itself got translated into compositional material and, hence, the form of the work. The musical ideas are presented in such a way that might create a revolving experience in the mind of the listener. Not surprisingly, the work is cast in seven sections: the first three gathering momentum as they unfold, arriving in the middle, the focal point of the work, where a very lyrical theme slowly evolves, and strengthening the idea of cycles even further. From there the work moves back, through three sections once again, to its origin – this path being different from the one it followed to the centre, yet having some resemblances to it.

I could become more technical and explain how I incorporated and transformed Schubert's song An die Musik , and his unfinished symphony throughout the work, but I rather leave that for another day.

 

 Review

Bester, Willem. 26 July 2005, DIE BURGER

Traub, Michael. 28 March 2006 , THE CITIZEN

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