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by Michael Reid Winikoff

Mixed (SATB) or Men's (TTBB) Choir a cappella
Yom Kippur / Slichot

DURATION: 2:50                                                                            Purchase

-- for SATB 
   Listen Only (faster load)

-- for TTBB
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THE PRAYER - Ana Tavo is a powerful, psychologically insightful prayer which functions as a preamble to the first confessional (Ashamnu) in the penitential rite of Yom Kippur and Slichot.  It serves as mental preparation for the confessional (vidui) by evoking in us the sober and uncompromising acknowledgment of our imperfections – a necessary step in the process of repentence.  Consistent with much of the atonement liturgy, Ana Tavo is worded in the first-person plural (“we” “us”), reflecting the precept that Jews are responsible for one another in atonement.

THE MUSIC - Although modern prayer books omit the first word Ana (“please”), this setting continues the tradition of many musical renderings by including it.  This dramatic rendition is inspired by that of the great Baruch Schorr.  The central fugal section, which must be sung softly and sostenuto throughout, suggests the empty rhetoric of our excuses and rationalizations, which build to a cacophony before ultimately dissipating like steam “l’fanecha” (“before You”). 

This piece must be performed in a very sustained manner, and the slow tempo necessitates a constant mindfulness of shape and contour to its long melodic lines.  Staggered breathing is essential to such an approach.  Challenge level - 3 out of 6 stars

E-l-oheinu vei-l-ohei avoteinu
Ana tavo l’fanecha t’filateinu
V’al titalam mit’chinateinu
She’ein anachnu azei fanim ukshei oref
Lomar l’fanecha
A-donay E-loheinu veilohei avoteinu
Tzadikim anachnu v’lo chatanu
Aval anachnu chatanu

Our G-d and G-d of our Ancestors:
May our prayer arrive before You,
And do not ignore our supplication;
For we are neither so insolent nor so stubborn
As to claim to You,
O Lord our G-d And G-d of our ancestors:
that “We are righteous and have not sinned.”
For we have indeed sinned.