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PSALM 150 Halleluyah
by Michael Reid Winikoff

SATB div. Choir a cappella
Hebrew or English Singing Text
Rosh Hashanah Musaf; Concert

DURATION: 5:15                                                                            Purchase

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THE TEXT IN LITURGY - Psalm 150 is certainly among the most well-known of the Psalms.  Not only does it occur in high profile in the Shofrot section of the Rosh Hashanah Musaf (Additional) service (perhaps mainly due to its mention of the shofar or ram’s horn), but given its musical imagery it is, not surprisingly, a favorite text for musical settings in whole or in part. 

THE MUSIC - This rendition of Psalm 150 is in a modernist style, hinting at the Mixolydian coloration typically heard in the chanting of Shofrot, along with an added Lydian tinge.  It attempts to depict in some fashion the various musical instruments mentioned, and concludes with an antiphonal fanfare-like flourish. 

PERFORMANCE - This music is highly chromatic and at times quite contrapuntal.  It requires singers of musical skill and in sufficient numbers to cover the frequent and extended divisi passages which are essential to the piece.  It is potentially a concert tour-de-force for the performing ensemble due to its challenging nature and brilliant conclusion.

Challenge level - 5 out of 6 stars