Lo Lanu Ha-Shem (Psalm 115) for Women's Chorus (SSAA), Flute, Harp, Two Horns, Double-Bass and Tambourine
Lo Lanu Ha-Shem is a setting of Psalm 115 for Women’s Chorus, Flute, Two Horns, Harp, Double-Bass and Tambourine. The Psalm text shows how unique the Jews were in the ancient world, with a faith in an invisible God. Israel’s enemies made fun of the Jews’ faith, and when they didn't see any image of a god anywhere to defend the Jews, the enemies asked “Where is their God now?” The Psalm shows how the idols of Israel’s enemies were powerless, man-made objects, while the Jews’ God exists in the heavens and is all powerful.
Just as J.S. Bach fused a Lutheran chorale melody into a secular-styled concerto form in many of his Chorale cantatas, Lo Lanu Ha-Shem inserts a chorale-styled melody into a Middle-Eastern popular-styled song form. As in Bach's Chorale cantatas, the chorale-styled melody is used in different ways in Lo Lanu Ha-Shem. Most of the text of Lo Lanu Ha-Shem is in a modern English translation, but to capture a little of the spirit of the original Psalm, the first line is sung in Hebrew and is used as a refrain.
The instrumentation of Lo Lanu Ha-Shem was inspired by the Brahms' Four Songs for Women's Chorus, Two Horns and Harp, Op.17, and would be a great addition to a program that includes the Brahms work. It was an inspiring experience writing Lo Lanu Ha-Shem and I hope that you like it.
Lo Lanu Ha-Shem received a Silver Medal at the March 2019 Global Music Awards.
Below is the video of the World Premiere performance of Lo Lanu Ha-Shem by The New Mexico Bach Society Chorale and Players and Santa Fe Women's Ensemble, Franz Vote, Conductor (pictured below.)