Elijah's Chariot

Judith Shatin

About this work:
The story of the prophet Elijah is fantastic: He did not die but was swept up to heaven on a chariot of fire drawn by horses of fire. Many tales have grown up around the prophet Elijah: they focus on his return to earth to help Jews and to announce the coming of the Messiah. Elijah also plays a role in the close of the Jewish sabbath and the folk song HaNavi is frequently sung at this time. The opening phrase of this melody forms a melodic thread in Elijah’s Chariot, emerging clearly at one point, obliquely at others. The electronic portion of Elijah's Chariot was realized at the Virginia Center for Computer Music (VCCM) at the University of Virginia. All electronic sounds were produced by digitally manipulating shofar sounds recorded by Dr. Mel Sigel of Minneapolis. I am grateful to Dr. Sigel and my sister Deborah Shatin for their help the recording process. Elijah’s Chariot was commissioned by the Kronos Quartet with funding from the NEA. Kronos toured the piece world-wide, and performed it on the BAM Next Wave Festival. A recent performance on the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival was greeted with the following review in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:The instrumental pinnacle was Judith Shatlin's "Elijah's Chariot," a symphonic poem for string quartet, with the four instruments representing the wheels of the prophet's fiery conveyance to Heaven."
Year composed: 1996
Duration: 00:19:42
Ensemble type: Electronic Instruments and Sound Sources:Prerecorded Sound and Live Instrument(s)
Instrumentation: 2 Violin, 1 Viola, 1 Cello, 1 Prerecorded Sound (Tape/CD/Other)

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