Shtile likht 02:02

Liner Notes

Intended originally as an aria for Weiner’s opera, The Golem, Shtile likht (1956) moves harmonically upward by a semitone from E flat to E. The ascent seems perfectly natural and unobtrusive. Shtile likht is an especially fine achievement, with its flexible prosody and its melodic contour unmistakably derived from biblical cantillation (the Lithuanian Ashkenazi haftara—prophetic readings—chant in particular). It is at once a love song and a prayer—with reference to the lighting of the Sabbath candles—which imagines the virtue of the ideal husband, the beauty of the children, and the sanctity of Torah study.

By: Yehudi Wyner



Poet: Mani Leib [Mani Leib Brahinski] (1883–1953)

Quiet candles and quiet eyes
Lips pious, hushed.
Bent before the quiet candles
She whispers a prayer.
Quiet words of prayer,
The flames can scarcely hear them:
God, if he is not destined for me—
You will destine him for me!
I will bear him children,
Pure, honest, and fine.
My children will have
Black eyes, like his.
He will sit and learn Torah,
He will be renowned.
Will you destine thus, good Creator?—
You will destine it!—Amen...

Poet: Mani Leib [Mani Leib Brahinski] (1883–1953)

shtile likht un shtile oygn
lipn frume, shtile.
far di shtile likht geboygn
sheptshet zi a tfile,
shtile tfiledike verter,
koym di likht nor hern:
—got, iz er nit mayn basherter,
vest mir im bashern.
ikh vel far im kinder hobn
koshere un fayne,
mayne kinder veln hobn
oygn shvarts, vi zayne.
er vet zitsn, lernen toyre
shemen vet zayn nomen.
vest bashern, guter boyre?
vest bashern!—omeyn.



Composer: Lazar Weiner

Length: 02:02
Genre: Art Song

Performers: Ida Rae Cahana, Mezzo-soprano;  Yehudi Wyner, Piano

Date Recorded: 12/01/2001
Venue: Lefrak Concert Hall/Colden Center for the Arts (E), Flushing, New York
Engineer: Lazarus, Tom
Assistant Engineer: Martyn, Tim

Additional Credits:

Translations and Transliterations: Eliyahu Mishulovin
Preliminary preparations by Adam J. Levitin


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