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Feathers in the Wind: A Yiddish Folktale (Full/Choral Score)

By Rex Isenberg

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SATB choir (divisi), double bass, and piano - Advanced
Composed by Rex Isenberg. 21st Century. Octavo. E.C. Schirmer Publishing #8724. Published by E.C. Schirmer Publishing (EC.8724).

Item Number: EC.8724

ISBN 600313487248. English, Yiddish.

A spirited musical retelling of a timeless Jewish folktale about the consequences of gossip. Attributed to a Hasidic scholar commonly referred to as the Baal Shem Tov, (ca. 1700–1760), the parable tells of a man who circulates a false rumor about the town rabbi, causing the villagers to lose faith in their trusted leader. When the man goes to beg the rabbi’s forgiveness for damaging his reputation, the rabbi tells the man that he may return and ask for forgiveness only after he has released the feathers from a pillow and gathered them all up again. The impossible task serves as a powerful metaphor for the far-reaching effects of gossip and the inability to reverse its harm.

This colorful setting pairs the fable sung in Yiddish with a spoken narration of the story in English to be delivered by individual choristers. The final chorale setting of a medieval Hebrew meditation on Psalm 34 delivers the moral of the story. The music draws upon evocative motifs from the Jewish musical tradition with a contemporary sensibility. Duration 17:00.

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