Hashir shehalviyyim is one of Ganchoff’s most prized compositions, and it is part of the repertoire of his most successful students. The piece exemplifies his classical cantorial approach as it builds, with graduating intensity ornamented by subtle inflections, to a logical climax. The tasteful, elegant melody at the end extends the nobility of the overall musical statement. Rather than sounding as if it were grafted onto the preceding recitative or expropriated from some popular source (as with many inferior cantorial constructions), it is perfectly in character with the prevailing mood and appears to grow naturally out of the recitative material.
Sung in Hebrew
These are the Psalms that the Levites recited in the (Jerusalem) temple:
On the first day of the week they would say: “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is within it; all the world and those who inhabit it.”
On the second day of the week: “Great is the Lord. He is to be lavishly praised in the city of our God, on His holy mountain.”
On the third day of the week: “God stands in the community of the mighty; in the assembly of judges, He pronounces judgment.”
On the fourth day of the week: “The Lord is a God of retribution. God of retributions, appear!”
On the fifth day of the week: “Sing aloud to God, our strength, shout with joy to the God of Jacob.”
On the sixth day of the week: “The Lord reigns, robed in splendor; the Lord is robed, girded in strength. He set the earth on firm foundations; the earth cannot be shaken.”
On the Sabbath day: “A song for the Sabbath day. It is a song for the future yet to come; for a day that is completely Sabbath and restfulness in the life eternal.”
Performers: Barcelona Symphony-National Orchestra of Catalonia; Elli Jaffe, Conductor; Benzion Miller, Cantor
Orchestration and arranger: Steve Barnett
Translation: Rabbi Morton M. Leifman
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