In reviewing the selection of Hanukkah-themed music in our catalog, we realized that the majority of pieces predominantly feature contemplative and/or anthemic qualities in tone and mood. And that’s all good and appropriate! But, we did recognize a need to boost our offerings of Hanukkah music that is joyous, upbeat and celebratory. So, we put the challenge to YRM writer Larry Moore, an accomplished Broadway music arranger and orchestrator, and he graciously accepted!
The result is his unique setting of The Dreidel Song (music by S. E. Goldfarb and Mikhl Gelbart, English lyrics by Samuel S. Grossman). It is an exuberant and playful arrangement, bringing to vivid musical life the spinning of the dreidel, and we’re so excited to offer it to our customers!
Larry shared the following thoughts regarding his approach to this piece:
When Yelton Rhodes asked me to write a lively Hanukkah arrangement, I remembered that the band in which my friend Chris Coluzzi played drums had performed and participated in several Hanukkah dreidel spinning competitions. Of the several dreidel songs I found, I thought this one was my best option to adapt. The melody had a limited range, which was perfect for moving into different keys, but I needed a framework and a secondary theme.
As I wandered about singing the Dreidel Song to myself and wondering what to do with it, I found that I kept slipping into the theme from Le Bal, the last movement of Georges Bizet’s wonderful Jeux d’infants. I am very happy that one of my favorite composers (whose wife Geneviève Halévy was Jewish, incidentally) gave me exactly what I needed.
A Bizet-inspired arrangement of The Dreidel Song? Sounds wonderfully intriguing, doesn’t it?!