Sirota (2011)

take a listen – hear an audio preview:

commissioned by Inna Faliks and the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies;
dedicated to Inna Faliks & Gershon Sirota

SIROTA (the title means “Orphan” in Russian, which could be coincidental) is a composition for solo piano that incorporates a recording made by cantor Gershon Sirota in Warsaw in 1908. Often referred to as “The Jewish Caruso”, Gershon Sirota was born in the Ukraine, and served as cantor in Odessa, Vilnius, and in Warsaw, where he perished in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

The piece features a fragmented melody line that is driven by a relentless limping pattern comprised of a falling and rising D-minor chord. After the climax, the pianist’s role becomes that of an accompanist at a synagogue, where Sirota is chanting prayers for Rosh Hashannah (the Jewish New Year).

CATEGORY solo piano music
INSTRUMENTATION solo piano and historical recording
DURATION 7.5 minutes
WORLD PREMIERE February 27, 2011, Highland Park Community House, Highland Park, IL
(presented by Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies)

June 30, 2011 – Bargemusic, Brooklyn, NY

SCORE AVAILABILITY All arrangements are available for sale via PDF or mail delivery; arrangements for combinations not listed above may be commissioned on request. [contact for more info]

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