Magazine article Gramophone

Fairouz: 'Poems and Prayers'

Magazine article Gramophone

Fairouz: 'Poems and Prayers'

Article excerpt

Fairouz

'Poems and Prayers' Symphony No 3, 'Poems and Prayers' (a). Tahrir (b) (a) Sasha Cooke sop (a) David Kravitz bar (b) David Krakauer cl (a) UCLA Chorale; (a) UCLA University Chorus; UCLA Philharmonia / Neal Stulberg Sono Luminus (M) (2) (CD + [BR]) DSL92177 (71' * DDD)

Mohammed Fairouz's Symphony No 3, 'Poems and Prayers', intended as a musical meditation on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, demonstrates the composer's ability to bring down to human scale large blocks of sound and passion, at times as vast as the great choral works of Beethoven and Verdi. Setting texts ranging from the ancient Aramaic Kaddish to modern Israeli and Arabic poetry by Mahmoud Darwish, Yehuda Amichai and Fadwa Tuqan, Fairouz creates a mostly bleak landscape in which hope is to be raised. Even the half-hour final movement, an epic, chaotic setting of Amichai's 'Memorial Day for the War Dead', is haunted by dread, so that the quiet moments are the best, most authentic; the 'Lullaby', for example, set to excerpts from Darwish's State of Siege, and the 'Minyan' that follows. …

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