Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hearing the Psalter - an outline of the Grand Opera

The final result of the bulk of the Psalter is this note- this new song:
אֱלֹהִים שִׁיר חָדָשׁ
אָשִׁירָה לָּךְ
בְּנֵבֶל עָשׂוֹר
אֲזַמְּרָה לָּךְ
144.9O God, a song that is new
I will sing to you
on lute, a tenth
I will sing a psalm to you
הַנּוֹתֵן תְּשׁוּעָה לַמְּלָכִים
הַפּוֹצֶה אֶת דָּוִד עַבְדּוֹ
מֵחֶרֶב רָעָה
10giving salvation to kings
setting even David his servant free
from a sword of evil

Here then is the beginning of a draft of the Grand Opera known as the Psalter. (Links to music are on the right panel.)

First Act - David the Beloved, Book 1
Scene 1: Introduction (1-2) -
Ps 1 F+ A rising third and descending fifth motif for the 'Happy are' phrases - to be used whenever they recur at the seams and conclusions of the Psalter. A triple rhythm (hidden in this case in 4/4) that signifies the voice of the Most High.; angular diminished fifths as structural gates and as a tossed away motif.
Ps 2  F- (D-flat+) A lament motif - augmented descending fifth - recurs in various voices throughout the Psalter. Triple rhythm descending major 7th as well as high recitation on a single note for proclamation. Descending minor seconds for the derision. Rapid-fire 16th notes wrapping tenderness.
Scene 2: Prayer (3-6), problem (7), solution (8), celebration (9-10)
Ps 3-6 sequence in D+ upper minor third and lower major third separately then combined, then D- for lament. - the leit-motifs to be extended as the song develops.

Remainder of scenes in draft form... Note I am organizing the scenes using the acrostics in Books 1 and 5. I think that there are 4 is significant - copying perhaps the 4 in Lamentations and recognizing thereby the exile as a critical aspect of all human experience.
Scene 3: Restating the problem (12-15), leading to instruction (16-19), the king (20-24), celebration (25)
Scene 4: 26-34, Reprise (26),  ? (27-30), ? (31-33), celebration (34)
Scene 5: Oracle and celebration (36-37)
Entr'acte: 38-41

Second Act - Surrounding the harvest
Part 1 Book 2
Scene 1: Korah (42-49)
Scene 2: Asaph (50 in front of the curtain)
Scene 3: David (51-64)
Scene 4: Harvest (65-67)
Scene 5: David (68-70)
Scene 6: Solo (71), Solomon (72)

Part 2 Book 3
Scene 7: Asaph (73-83)
Scene 8: Korah + (84-88)
Entr'acte: Lament 89

Third Act  - Book 4 Moses
Scene 1: Moses and response (90-92), Rivers and judgment (93-94), Warning (95)
Scene 2: יְהוָה's reign (96-100)
Scene 3: David and renewal (101-103)
Entr'acte: Creation and redemption (104-106)

Fourth Act - Book 5
Scene 1: Predicament (107), redemption (108-110), celebration (111-112)
Scene 2: Praise and adoration (113-117), salvation (118), celebration (119)
Scene 3: Ascent (120-134), Arrival (135)
Scene 4: Creation and redemption (136)
Scene 5: Exile (137)
Scene 6: Recapitulation of David, Holy of Holies (138-139) Prayer of the anointed king on behalf of all (140-144), celebration (145)
Coda: 146-150

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