Songs of Experience, bc 1

by Oded Zehavi

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released August 1, 2011



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Oded Zehavi Israel

Oded Zehavi, composer, is active in a wide variety of musical styles
(pop/rock arrangements, soundtracks, electronic, chamber and orchestral music)
and is renowned for his vocal scores and textual affinity for classics of Hebrew literature.
His music has been premiered by a number of prominent musicians including
Zubin Mehta, Valery Gergiev, Marek Janowsky, Antonio Pappano and David Robertson.
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Track Name: A Pirate Love Song for children's choir
If you cut the waves with scissors
you will find only water
and the remains of a Phoenician ship
on which I once saw several slaves.
The whip on my back
had the shape of your hands
and your voice, ordering me to row
was as sharp as the ax that carved the oars.
I wanted love to wave like a skull
on a black flag
like on a pirate ship,
something snatched, torn from the flesh.

אם תגזרי במספרים את גלי הים
תגלי רק מים
ושרידי ספינה פינקית
שפעם ראיתי בה עבדים רבים
השוט שהצליף בגבי
היה בצורה ידיך
וקולך שפקד: חתור חתור
היה חד כברזל שחטב את המשוטים
רציתי אז שהאהבה תתנופף לה
כגולגולת על דגל שחור
כמו בספינה פיראטית
משהו חטוף, משהו שנתלש מן הגוף
Track Name: The Blessing for voice and piano
I sat hoarse all night and tried
to attach names to things in my room and failed,
in everything I failed. Why fix my voice when I've stuck ashtray to shutter
Glued and shut my eyes
Flower blooms and these are not hands, child
Not even a voice

ישבתי צרוד כל הלילה וניסיתי
להדביק שמות לדברים בחדרי וטעיתי
בכלם טעיתי. למה אדביק את קולי כשמאפרה
לתריס הדבקתי וכיביתי את עיני
בפרח שיבול ואלה לא הידים ילדתי
וזה אף לא הקול
Track Name: They Shall Beat Their Swords ('Stabat Mater')
Stabat mater dolorosa
juxta Crucem lacrimosa,
dum pendebat Filius.
Cuius animam gementem,
contristatam et dolentem
pertransivit gladius.
O quam tristis et afflicta
fuit illa benedicta,
mater Unigeniti!
Quae moerebat et dolebat,
pia Mater, dum videbat
nati poenas inclyti.
Quis est homo qui non fleret,
matrem Christi si videret
in tanto supplicio?
Quis non posset contristari
Christi Matrem contemplari
dolentem cum Filio?
Pro peccatis suae gentis
vidit Iesum in tormentis,
et flagellis subditum.
Vidit suum dulcem Natum
moriendo desolatum,
dum emisit spiritum.
Eia, Mater, fons amoris
me sentire vim doloris
fac, ut tecum lugeam.
Fac, ut ardeat cor meum
in amando Christum Deum
ut sibi complaceam.
Sancta Mater, istud agas,
crucifixi fige plagas
cordi meo valide.
Tui Nati vulnerati,
tam dignati pro me pati,
poenas mecum divide.
Fac me tecum pie flere,
crucifixo condolere,
donec ego vixero.
Juxta Crucem tecum stare,
et me tibi sociare
in planctu desidero.
Virgo virginum praeclara,
mihi iam non sis amara,
fac me tecum plangere.
Fac, ut portem Christi mortem,
passionis fac consortem,
et plagas recolere.
Fac me plagis vulnerari,
fac me Cruce inebriari,
et cruore Filii.
Flammis ne urar succensus,
per te, Virgo, sim defensus
in die iudicii.
Christe, cum sit hinc exire,
da per Matrem me venire
ad palmam victoriae.
Quando corpus morietur,
fac, ut animae donetur
paradisi gloria. Amen.

At the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to her son to the last.
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.
O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.
Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.
Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?
Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?
For the sins of His own nation,
She saw Jesus wracked with torment,
All with scourges rent:
She beheld her tender Child,
Saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.
O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.
Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:
Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.
Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:
By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of thee to give.
Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;
Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.
Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;
Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.
Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;
While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.

Translation by Edward Caswall
Lyra Catholica (1849)
Track Name: They Shall Beat Their Swords ('Bishnat Mot Hamelekh Uziahu')
(from Program Notes by the Jewish Studies Program at the University of Virginia, USA, November 15, 2010)

The fourth movement is inspired by traditional Hebrew chanting of these verses from Isaiah 6 (New International Version):

1. In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.
2. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.
3. And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory."
4. At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.