Fantasy On a Sephardi Melody 07:32

Liner Notes

Robert Starer’s Fantasy on a Sephardi Melody is an organ work for concert performance. Despite its title, its source is a traditional Yemenite—not Sephardi—tune for the poem mipi el y’vorakh yisra’el (from God’s mouth [the promise]: He will bless [the people] Israel), which, in some Sephardi as well as other eastern non-Ashkenazi customs, is included among the z’mirot shel shabbat—the Sabbath table hymns. (The text appears, for example, in that capacity in a collection published by the Union of Sephardic Congregations in 1964, Birkat Hamazon: Grace After Meals, According to the Custom of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews.) The poem was written by the illustrious mystic, Rabbi Yosef Hayyim of Baghdad (ca. 1830–ca. 1900), who is known as Ben Ish ḥai after his most famous book. In the course of the piece, the tune and its constituent motives are treated with a variety of contrapuntal devices, harmonic colorations, and an imaginative array of organ registrations.



Composer: Robert Starer

Length: 07:32
Genre: Chamber

Performers: Barbara Harbach, Organ

Date Recorded: 02/01/1993
Venue: Calvary Church, Charlotte, North Carolina
Engineer: Deal, Jim
Assistant Engineer: Isaacson, Michael
Project Manager: Isaacson, Michael

Additional Credits:

Publisher: Vivace Press


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