Hymn of Compassionate Love
Duration (in minutes): 12'39;
Difficulty: Medium (college/community)
Publisher: Subito Music Corporation
Description: “Hymn of Compassionate Love” was written at the suggestion of my friend and former student, Larry Madison (to whom the work is dedicated). He suggested that I write a short work for church choir, using the King James version of the Bible, which has a beauty of language. As a Jew, I am unfamiliar with the New Testiment. So I turned to a friend. Philip A. DeSimone, for text suggestions. From all those he suggested, I chose I Corinthians 13. I especially liked the text because, while the modern translation of the text calls for love, the original meaning of the word, caritas (translated as “charity” in the King James version) seemed to imply compassion and ethics as well as love in order to be a worthwhile person. And the text seemed universal, in its words and message.
Larry suggested a short, practical piece. To this end, I’ve created a work with two movements (Caritas and Through a Glass Darkly) and an interlude. Each movement is composed so that it can be performed either alone or as part of the whole. The soloists can be drawn from the choir at large, as the solo parts aren’t excessively difficult. The work can also be performed with just piano (or organ), or in its orchestrated version. The orchestration itself is limited to trumpet, timpani, and strings, and the string parts are carefully written so that divisi passages are playable on single strings if additional strings aren’t available