I. Praises: Psalm 150 01:32
I. Praises: Psalm 100 01:28
I. Praises: Psalm 133 01:14
II. Mysteries: Psalm 146: 1–4 01:20
II. Mysteries: Psalm 23 03:10
III. Jubilations: Psalm 98: 4–9 01:51
III. Jubilations: Psalm 113 01:50
IV. Wonderments: Psalm 24: 1–6 01:45
IV. Wonderments: Psalm 24: 7–10 01:56
V. Envoi: Psalm 121 04:29

Liner Notes

Psalmistry, a word defined in the dictionary as “the singing of Psalms,” is a complete overhaul of a work written in 1971, titled Family Torah Service. The revision, accomplished in 1979, retained only two of the Psalm texts from the earlier work; and even these were modified. Musical materials from the 1971 work were used, but only as points of departure. Not only was the instrumentation completely new, but the musical content was drastically altered and expanded in virtually every way. In effect, it became a new composition.

Nevertheless, one significant vestige of the earlier work remains: the occasional utilization of familiar and/or traditional synagogue chant fragments and liturgical melodies, treated unconventionally. These are so stylized and abstracted that, for the most part, their synagogue music association may not be apparent. For me, however, these motives and tunes acted as catalysts to the creative process. By the same token, they should have meaning—as unifying elements—for the listening process.

Originally, the music was written to be performed by vocal soloists, with occasional full choral sections. In the most recent revision in 1999, however, which is reflected in this recording, that equation has been reversed, so that now the chorus predominates. The first performance of the full original version was given in October 1980 at Merkin Hall in New York City.

Following this recording of the Psalmistry selections, Timothy Koch directed the first live public performance of the revised version with the South Carolina Symphonic Society in October 2001 at the Eastminster Presbyterian Church in Columbia, South Carolina. That concert included additional selections from the work.

By: Jack Gottlieb



Sung in English


Psalm 150
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him whose power the heavens proclaim.
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him for His surpassing greatness.
Praise Him with trumpets;
Praise Him with harp and lute.
Praise Him with drums and dancing.
Praise Him with strings and pipe.
Praise Him with cymbals sounding;
Praise Him with cymbals resounding.
Let everything that lives and breathes praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord!

Psalm 100
Sing unto the Lord all the world!
Worship the Lord with joy!
Come before Him with happy songs!
Never forget that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we belong to Him;
We are His people, we are His flock.
Go within His gates giving thanks,
Enter His courts with songs of praise.
Give thanks to Him and bless His name!
The Lord is good; His love is eternal
And His faithfulness lasts forever.

Psalm 133
How wonderful it is, how pleasant,
For brothers to live in harmony!
It is like the precious anointing oil
Running down the head and beard of Aaron
Down to the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew on Mount Hermon,
Falling on the hills of Zion.
That is where the Lord has promised His blessing.
Life that never ends.


Psalm 146: 1–4
Praise the Lord, my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my days.
I will make music to my God,
While I live, I will make music.
Put no trust in human leaders;
No human being can save you.
When they die, they return to the dust;
On that day all their plans come to nothing.

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths for the sake of His name.
Even when I walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
I shall fear no evil, for You are with me;
With rod and staff You comfort me.
You have set a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.


Psalm 98: 4–9
Sing for joy to the Lord, all the earth;
Praise Him with songs and shouts of joy!
Sing praises to the Lord!
Play music on the harps!
Blow trumpets and horns,
And shout for joy to the Lord, our King.
Roar, sea, and every creature within you;
Sing, earth, and all who live on you!
Clap your hands, you rivers;
Clap your hands, you hills,
Sing together with joy before the Lord!
Because He comes to rule the earth.
He will rule the peoples of the world
With justice and fairness.

Psalm 113
Praise the Lord!
You servants of the Lord, praise His name!
His name will be praised now and forever.
From the east to the west, praise the name of the Lord!
The Lord rules over all nations;
His glory is above the heavens.
There is no one like the Lord our God.
He lives in the heights above.
But He bends down to see the heavens and the earth.
The poor He raises from the dust;
He lifts the needy from their misery
And makes them companions of princes, the princes of his people.
He honors the childless wife in her home;
He makes her happy by giving her children.


Psalm 24: 1–6
The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness,
The world and all who dwell there.
For He has laid its foundation in the depths of the sea,
And established it upon the oceans.
Who has the right to go up the Lord’s mountain?
And who may enter His holy temple?
Those with clean hands and pure hearts,
Who never speak with malice,
Who never swear deceitfully.
They shall receive blessings from the Lord,
And justice from God, their Helper.
Such are the people who turn to Him,
Who seek the presence of the God of Jacob.

Psalm 24: 7–10
Lift up your heads, O gates!
Lift yourselves up, O ancient doors!
That the King of Glory may come in.
Who is this great King?
He is the Lord,
He is strong and mighty,
He is victorious in battle.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
Lift yourselves up, O ancient doors!
That the King of Glory may come in.
Who is this King of Glory?
The Lord of Hosts is the King of Glory.


Psalm 121
I will lift up my eyes to the mountains:
From where shall my help come?
My help shall come from the Lord,
Who made heaven and earth.
May He never allow you to stumble,
He who keeps you is always awake.
The Protector of Israel
Never dozes nor slumbers.
The Lord will protect you.
He is your shade,
At your right side He stands.
The sun shall not hurt you by day,
Nor the moon by night.
The Lord will protect you from all dangers,
And keep you safe.
He will guard you as you come and go,
From this time forth and forever!



Composer: Jack Gottlieb

Length: 20:40
Genre: Choral

Performers: Timothy Koch, Conductor;  Southern Chorale

Date Recorded: 04/01/1999
Venue: First Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Engineer: Stedman, Marc
Assistant Engineer: Frost, David
Project Manager: Levin, Neil

Additional Credits:

Publisher: Theophilous Music, Inc.


Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year! Stay up to date with our newsletter.

{{msToTime(currentPosition)}} / {{msToTime(duration)}}