About this work:
Teruah, meaning joyous shout, is the title of my piece for shofar, brass ensemble and tympani. Co-commissioned by the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival and the Jewish Commission of Los Angeles, Teruah celebrates the holiday of Rosh HaShanah. The piece includes the major shofar calls associated with the holiday: the Teruah, a series of nine very short blasts; the Shevarim, which is a group of three broken blasts, the Tekiah, which is one long blast; and the Tekiah Gedolah, an especially long blast. Here I use these sounds, and the brass ensemble and tympani respond to them, taking up the joyous shout. I have also drawn on a beautiful Rosh HaShanah melody, composed by Avraham Tzvi Kubowitzki, my husband Michael Kubovy’s paternal grandfather. The melody’s words are part of the Rosh HaShanah service relating to the blowing of the shofar. The words express the hope that the Lord will “understand and listen, look at and pay attention to” our plea. Mr. Kubowitzki immigrated from a shtetl in Lithuania to Brussels, where he was a cantor. He composed many songs that were sung by his sons, and some were passed on to his grandchildren who heard and remembered them. I’m grateful to Michael for sharing this one, and dedicate the piece to him and his family. I also wish to thank Ron Schneider of the Pittsburgh Symphony for his excellent editorial suggestions. Teruah is published by Wendigo Music.
Year composed: 2006
Ensemble type: Chamber or Jazz Ensemble, Without Voice:Other Combinations, 6-9 players
Instrumentation: 3 Horn in F, 2 Trumpet, 2 Trombone, 1 Timpani
Instrumentation notes: Shofar, 2 trpts, 3 hrns, 2 trmb, timpani