Instrumental Parts
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This piece was commissioned by the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition, for its 2019 contestants. I feel a particularly awesome sense of responsibility when I write these competition pieces – it’s a given that the performer may well be nervous, anxious or stressed (or all three) and whilst I understand the need to stretch them technically, I do also want to provide an opportunity for them to demonstrate their lyrical and interpretive skills. When I discovered that Lionel Tertis was Ashkenazi Jewish, I looked into some Cantorial chants and found this haunting and beautifully ornate “Y’HI ROTZON” (“May it be Thy will”), an invocation for the new month’s blessing. I start with the first couple of lines of the original, then elaborate on its elegant figurations and modal language for the rest of the piece.

The title evolved out of my admiration for the gorgeously warm ‘singing’ tone of the viola and was endorsed by my discovery that Tertis’s father was a cantor at Princess Street Synagogue in Stepney.

I am extremely grateful to Dr Alexander Knapp for helping me find this exquisite chant and to violist friend Martin Outram, who demonstrated various inspirational viola techniques and patiently tried out my drafts. Also to LTIVC Director John Bethell MBE for this extremely gratifying commission.

Additional Information

Item Number: EP73269
Format: Sheet Music
Number of Pages: 8
Publication Date: 09/04/2020
Barcode: 9790577017129
ISMN: 9790577017129
Format: 303 x 232
Instrumentation: Viola
Language: English

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