Alleluia

For mezzo-soprano, flute & cello — 2009 — 6 minutes
score

Alleluia was composed for the LacrossE trio (Jennifer Ashe, soprano; Jessi Rosinski, flute; & Benjamin Schwartz, cello) for Sarah Bob’s New Gallery Concert Series in Boston.

I once learned somewhere that the word “hallelujah” was originally an onomatopoetic invention imitating the sound of an exclamation made by a person overcome with joy. Irrepressible and perhaps even a little ridiculous, it expresses what cannot be contained in mere language. Unfortunately, as much as this story of the word’s origin appeals to me, it turns out not to be true — “hallelujah” is a perfectly legitimate Hebrew word with a sensible etymology, meaning simply “praise God.” In any case, the single word “alleluia” has traditionally served for centuries as a text for songs of praise, often using only the vowels of the word, or drawing out the final syllable in an extended and essentially wordless “jubilus.” It therefore seemed an appropriate title for this wordless piece for voice, flute and cello.

This composition has not yet been premiered.

 

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