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by Michael Reid Winikoff

SATB div. Choir and Soli with optional organ
Musaf Service - Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

DURATION: 7:45 unabridged                                                           Purchase
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THE MUSIC -  "A great horn is sounded; a soft, thin voice is heard.”  This setting of the second paragraph of Un’ta-ne Tokef opens with an aural image of the earthly shofar blast resounding upward to heaven.  The closing fugue is punctuated repeatedly by the fortissimo choral tutti, a proverbial “rubber stamp” on the phrase " gzar dinam" (“the decree of judgment”).  The final unison phrase outlines the descending minor triad heard over and over in chant and responses
throughout the High Holy Days.  See excerpt from this work, K'vakarat.  See also related
settings, of the first verses of the piyyut, Un'ta-ne Tokef, and it's final section, Ki Kh'shimcha.

PERFORMANCE - This setting is offered in SATB version only, because of the importance of the different vocal colors available with treble and men's voices to the musical effects in the work - vocal colors not available in pure men's TTBB voicing.  The work demands sufficient choral and solo vocal resources to achieve dramatic effect.  Musically, it is moderately challenging due to its overall length, the chromatic opening section through measure 22, and the complexity of the final fugue.

Challenge level - 4 out of 6 stars

Uv’shofar gadol yitaka
V’kol d’mama dakka yishama
Umal-achim yeichafeizun
V’chil ur-ada yocheizun
V’yomru: hi-nei yom ha-din.
Lifkod al tz’va marom ba-din
Ki lo yizku v’einecha
V’chol ba-ei olam
Ya-avrun l’fanecha
Kivnei maron.
K’vakarat ro-e edro
Ma-avir tzo-no tachat shivto
Kein ta-avir v’tispor v’timne
V’tifkod nefesh kol chai
V’tachtoch kitzba l’chol b’ri-a
V’tichtov et-g’zar dinam.

A great horn is sounded;
A soft, thin voice is heard.
The angels are agitated
And seized with dread,
Proclaiming the Day of Judgment.
The heavenly host are arraigned in judgment;
For they are not exempt in Your eyes
From judgment.
All who walk the earth
must pass before You
As sheep of a flock.
As the shepherd musters his flock,
Bringing each under his staff,
So do You summon
And pass each living soul before You
Assigning the length of its days
And inscribing its judgment decree.