Franklin Cohen | Golijov: The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac The Blind

Go To Artist Page

More Artists From
United States - United States

Other Genres You Will Love
Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Contemporary Moods: Instrumental
Sell your music everywhere
There are no items in your wishlist.

Golijov: The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac The Blind

by Franklin Cohen

with Diana Cohen / a kind of epic, a history of Judaism. The movements sound like they are in three of the languages spoken in almost 6,000 years of Jewish history . . . Cohen's transformational journey that has taken him closer to his Eastern European roots.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Continue Shopping
available for download only
Share to Google +1

To listen to tracks you will need to update your browser to a recent version.

  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind: Prelude - Calmo, Sospenso
3:21 album only
clip
2. Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind: I. Agitato, Minaccioso
9:07 album only
clip
3. Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind: II. Graceful, Densely Slow
11:44 album only
clip
4. Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind: III. K'Vakarat
8:16 album only
clip
5. Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind: Postlude - Lento, Liberamente
2:50 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
When I first heard The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind by Osvaldo
Golijov, I knew immediately that I needed to play the work. This meant
becoming proficient on the bass clarinet, then searching for my own
voice in the klezmer style. This project has been a profoundly transformational
journey that has taken me closer to my Eastern European
musical roots. It has been my privilege to share this experience and
discovery with my daughter, Diana. Heartfelt thanks and admiration go
to my special friends and colleagues Isabel Trautwein, Tanya Ell and
Kirsten Docter.
– Franklin Cohen

Forward by the composer, Osvaldo Golijov, from the score of
The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind
I have this image of my great-grandfather, who shared my bedroom when I was seven. I’d wake up and see him by the window, praying with his phylacteries in the early light. I think of him always praying, or fixing things, his pockets full of screws. I remember thinking, three of his children are dead; why does he still pray? Why does he still fix things? But we were taught that God had assigned that task of repairing the world to the Jewish people – Tikkun Olam. Incomprehensible.
About eight hundred years ago, Isaac the Blind – who was the greatest Kabbalist rabbi of Provence – dictated a manuscript
saying that everything in the universe, all things and events, are products of combinations of the Hebrew alphabet’s letters.
The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind is a kind of epic, a history of Judaism. It has Abraham, exile, and redemption. The movements sound like they are in three of the languages spoken in almost 6,000 years of Jewish history: the first in Aramaic, the second in Yiddish, and the third in Hebrew. I never wrote it with this idea in mind, and only understood it when the work was finished. But while I was composing the second movement, for example, my father would sit out on the deck with the newspaper – the sports pages, and every once in a while he would shout, “There you go! Another Yiddish chord!”
In the prelude, the music is like a celestial accordion, rising and falling like breathing, like praying . . . like air . . . then the air is transformed into a pulse and heart.
The whole first movement is a heartbeat that accelerates wildly . . . becoming frantic. It’s built on a single chord, rotating like
a monolith. The Quartet obsesses in eighth notes, the clarinet starts a huge line in long notes, but zooms in and is caught up
in the gravitational spin. The forces of God and man, they never unite, but they do commune; you can hear the dybbuk and the shofar, searching for a revelation that is always out of reach.
The Second movement opens with a hesitating, irregular pulse; a skipping heartbeat, the rhythm of death. The violin and the
clarinet hold forth in monologue at the same time, like those Bashevis Singer stories told in a poorhouse on a winter night. The same four notes, the same theme, playing in endless combinations.
The String Quartet is an accordion in the prelude, a klezmer band in the second movement; now, in the third movement, it’s a shepherd’s magic flute. The last movement was written before all the others. It’s an instrumental version of K’VAKARAT, a work that I wrote a few years ago for the Kronos Quartet and Cantor Misha Alexandrovich. In this final movement, hope is present but out of reach. There is a question woven into the hardening, incense: why this task? Repairing a world forever breaking down, with pockets full of screws. The question remains unanswered in the postlude.

Read more...

Reviews


to write a review