Symphony of Psalms “Symphony of Psalms” was created in the fall of 1978 - shortly after I became Artistic director of NDT. Soon after its creation, the influence of this work became apparent. It became a “corner stone” of the company’s repertoire, pointing towards the new adventure, this company was about to embark on. Maybe that one of the more interesting aspects of “Symphony of Psalms”, is its unifying effect it had on the company. At that time, I found it necessary to use a large group of dancers for this choreography (16 in total, out of a company of 24). Somehow, in this work we were able to create a certain kind of “spiritual architecture”. In a strange way, it was the structure of this piece which had a decisive influence on the company. The simple fact, that the dancers had to share the same space throughout the duration of the piece, created some sense of belonging and togetherness. In some way, this work addresses our understanding, and our doubts and feelings, concerning our "raison d’être” and its values. The music of Igor Stravinsky, written in 1930, is based on biblical texts: In these Psalms, there are four major themes:
|I)||A prayer, we offer to “Our Lord’, and the acceptance of our|
inferiority towards him….
|II)||The assurance of gratitude, we owe to “Our Lord” for taking|
us out of misery, and for teaching us “how to pray to him”…
|III)||The praise of all the virtues of “Our Lord”….|
Liturgical text used by Stravinsky: Text I (Psalm 39, verses 13 and 14) (Latin) Exaudi orationem meam, Domine, et deprecationem meam. Auribus percipe lacrimas meas. Ne sileas. Quoniam advena ego sum apud te et peregrinus, sicut omnes patres mei. Remitte mihi, ut refrigerer prius quam abeam et amplius non ero. (English Translation) Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with Thine ears consider my calling: hold not Thy peace at my tears. For I am a stranger with Thee: and a sojourner, as all my fathers were. O spare me a little Text II (Psalm 40, verses 2, 3 and 4) (Latin) Expectans expectavi Dominum, et intendit mihi. Et exaudivit preces meas; et eduxit me de lacu miseriae, et de luto fæcis. Et statuit super petram pedes meos: et direxit gressus meos. Et immisit in os meum canticum novum, carmen Deo nostro. Videbunt multi, videbunt et timebunt: et sperabunt in Domino. (English Translation) I waited patiently for the Lord: and He inclined unto me, and heard my calling. He brought me also out of the horrible pit, out of the mire and clay. and set my feet upon the rock, and ordered my goings. And He hath put a new song in my mouth: even a thanksgiving unto our God. Many shall see it and fear: and shall put their trust in the Lord. Text III (Psalm 150) (Latin) Alleluia. Laudate Dominum in sanctis Ejus. Laudate Eum in firmamento virtutis Ejus. Laudate Dominum. Laudate Eum in virtutibus Ejus. Laudate Dominum in virtutibus Ejus. Laudate Eum secundum multitudinem magnitudinis Ejus. Laudate Dominum in sanctis Ejus.. Laudate Eum in sono tubae. Laudate Eum. Alleluia. Laudate Dominum. Laudate Eum. Laudate Eum in timpano et choro, Laudate Eum in cordis et organo; Laudate Dominum. Laudate Eum in cymbalis benesonantibus, Laudate Eum in cymbalis jubilationibus. Laudate Dominum. Laudate Eum, omnis spiritus laudet Dominum, omnis spiritus laudet Eum. Alleluia. Laudate, laudate, laudate Dominum. (English Translation) Alleluja. O praise God in His holiness: Praise Him in the firmament of His power. Praise Him in His noble acts: Praise Him according to His excellent greatness. Praise Him in the sound of the trumpet: Praise Him upon the strings and pipe. Praise Him upon the well-tuned cymbals, Praise Him upon the loud cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord. Alleluja.