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Meditation (Six Liturgical Pieces, No. 5)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/23/16)
Composer: Freed, Isadore
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Modern
Isadore Freed (March 26, 1900 – November 10, 1960) was of Belarusian birth. Born in Brest-Litovsk, now Brest, Belarus, Freed's family emigrated to the United States when Freed was three years old and settled in Philadelphia, where his father owned a music store. Freed began playing piano at age seven, and began composing at age nine. His formal music education was at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor's degree at the age of 18. After graduation went to Berlin where he briefly studied piano with Josef Weiss, and then to Paris where he studied composition with Ernst Bloch, Nadia Boulanger, Louis Vierne and Vincent d'Indy. He also studied piano with Józef Hofmann and George Bayle, and organ with Rollo Maitland. Freed returned to the United States in 1934, and shortly after he was employed by the composition department at Temple University from the mid-1930s until the mid-1940s. In 1944, Freed was named head of the composition department at the Hartt School of Music where he taught in various capacities until his death in 1960. In 1951 he was also hired as Harmony instructor at the Hebrew Union School of Sacred Music.

"Meditation" was quite "intimidating" on paper, as the writing is florid, and "cantorial" in nature, particularly at the bottom of page 3 and into the top of page 4.

I've used an extremely "orchestral approach" to this, and you'll hear ALL the voices from the Solo (minus the tuba!) in this piece. I can not help but think of Leonard Bernstein conducting this piece as I'm playing it! Despite the fact the music is rhapsodic, I think that a definite "pulse" is required.

This music is clearly Sephardic (Spanish) in it's melodies, harmonies, and colors.

The piece is dedicated to Robert Baker, who was a dominant figure in the organ world of the 50s-70s.

The score is attached below, as well as a photo of Isadore Freed.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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