Hanukkah begins at sundown this evening, so, I'm probably already late in getting these up.
This is a "spontaneous arrangement" of the great Hanukkah hymn, "Maoz tsur". This is really a bit "over the top," but I know that a lot of you (and me) like tubers and fanfares, so, you got 'em here. This "cathedral style" is the way I have always played at my temple. The Rabbi Emeritus, was a fan of English cathedral music, and loved the way I played. The current rabbi is a very nice guy, but I don't think he even "hears" what I do.
The text of this wonderful hymn features the writings the 13th century poet and scholar, Mordechai, the German translation of Marcus Jastrow & Gustave Gottheil, and the English translation is by Leopold Stein.
The tune is an Ashkenazic folk melody. Ashlenazic means Jews who hail from Eastern Europe, France, Germany, etc. The basic harmony I've used (freely) is by Eric Werner (1901-1988), but as I said, I really went over the top on this one!
PERFORMANCE NOTE - I played an entire verse is an intro, so that those who might want to sing with it will have some chance to hear it playe d through. You really should sing it. It's a glorious tune!!!
Rock of ages, let our song
Praise Your saving power;
You, amid the raging foes,
Were our sheltering tower.
Furious, they assailed us,
But Your arm availed us,
And Your word broke their sword, (twice)
When our own strength failed us.
Kindling new the holy lamps,
Priests approved in suffering,
Purified the nation's shrines,
Brought to God their offering.
And His courts surrounding
Hear, in joy abounding,
Happy throngs, Singing songs, (twice)
With a mighty sounding.
Children of the Maccabees,
Whether free or fettered,
Wake the echoes of the songs,
Where you may be scattered.
Yours the message cheering,
That the time is nearing,
Which will see All men free, (twice)
This hymn melody is also included in the "Hymnal 1982" at #393.
A Happy and Holy Hanukkah to All!