Thursday, April 07, 2016

"Zohar" - the oratorio

MUSIC: Leshnoff’s “Zohar” Premieres at Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (Atlanta Jewish Times).
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will present the world premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff’s oratorio “Zohar” this month at Symphony Hall before moving on to New York for the composer’s debut at Carnegie Hall.

The work is based on one of the pillars of Jewish mysticism and is a commentary on the mystical aspects of the Torah, Leshnoff said.


The work is based on the spiritual text known as the Zohar, the foundation of Kabbalah. “The Zohar is extremely profound, dealing with the most basic and deepest issues of Judaism and life,” Leshnoff wrote in an email to the AJT. “I barely understand its surface level, but even that inspires me to the core of my being. My composition straddles the ecstatic mystical experiences that I glean from the Zohar itself and balances such heightened moments against the human, ‘down to earth’ elements of existence.”


Leshnoff said his goal is to take the audience on a journey. “Where they go, I don’t know, but I need to be the conduit, the means to have them go somewhere. And if I can provide that bridge, then I’ve done my job. My aesthetic is that music needs to do something to us. It needs to affect us. That’s why the music that lasts through centuries is there.”
This is first muscial compostion I've encountered that is based on the Zohar, but I have been following news about Zohar the written composition for many years. Start here and here and follow the links.