09: LYRIC COUNTERPOINT FOR VIOLIN AND STRING ORCHESTRA — Robert Rollin

This contrapuntal piece is a set of variations on “Eyfin Pripitchok,” a melody by Mark Warshawsky (1845-1904). A lawyer by profession, Warshawsky had a passion for folk singing. He was championed in America by the great Jewish writer Shalom Aleychem, and collections of his music were published in 1907 and 1914. This particular song became so embedded in the cultural psyche of the Jewish people, it achieved folk-song status. The traditional natural minor mode of the Ashkenazim with it’s lowered seventh degree of the scale is enhanced by daring ventures into extreme registers, poignant harmonic sprinkling, and cunning invertible counterpoint. This captures the sweet nostalgic childhood reminiscence of the glow of fire-place embers as the Rabbi inducts the children into the mysteries of the alphabet.

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