Paul Leavitt: Oseh Shalom

Publisher | choral music,composers,hanukkah,men's,mixed | Friday, July 13th, 2007

oseh shalom

The office at YRM has received several inquiries regarding our newest offerings of Hanukkah-appropriate music. So, in response to their requests, Paul Leavitt‘s Oseh Shalom has been selected for today’s blog entry (with more Hanukkah-related pieces to be featured in the near future).

Paul intended for this music to be a prayer to God to make peace for all of Israel and for all of us. Its message is one of increasing importance in the midst of escalating violence throughout the world. The composer himself tells how the piece came about:

When the director of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, Jeff Buhrman, asked me to write a commission piece for their 2003 holiday concert, I was needless to say flattered. The stipulation was that the piece had to be in Hebrew, and needed to be written for men’s chorus and brass quintet. There is a dearth of men’s choral music in Hebrew with brass accompaniment, I’ll admit. As the US was gearing up for war in Iraq, Jeff suggested we go “the peace route”. “Any suggestions?” I asked. He said, “How about the text to ‘Oseh Shalom’?”. “I love the text, but that’s kind of like rewriting ‘Let it be’ by the Beattles with a brand new melody. It’s one of the most popular songs in Hebrew in the world”. I continued to ponder the idea as the piece started to assemble itself in my inner ear.

Oseh Shalom is available for men’s chorus and mixed chorus, and YRM offers piano-vocal scores in addition to the full scores for chorus and brass quintet (2 trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba). Click on the links to view the first six pages of the piano-vocal score for each voicing.

Oseh Shalom (as recorded by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC)

[audio:http://yrmusic.com/audio/leavitt.paul/oseh.shalom.mp3]

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