Date: August 2013
Creator: Dalrymple, Holly
Description: The choral music of Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim (1897-1984) falls clearly into two distinct compositional periods. Born in Munich, Germany as Paul Frankenburger, the composer received formal, classical training at the Munich Academy of Music. His compositions from this period are an amalgamation of many styles, and they include influences of Bach, Handel, Mahler, Debussy, and Strauss. In 1933, Ben-Haim, along with other trained artists and composers, immigrated to Palestine as part of the Fifth Aliyah. Prior to this wave of immigration, Palestine had not yet received any serious composers, and musically, was still in its infancy. Eager to divorce themselves from the West and identify with their new home in the East, Ben-Haim and his fellow transplant composers sought a new musical language and a unique voice for Israel. Enamored with the exotic sounds of his new environment, Ben-Haim began to absorb elements of Eastern Mediterranean music into his compositions. As a Westerner, he was not familiar with these Eastern traditional folk song melodies, modes, and scales, and he required outside source materials from which to draw. This document examines two choral works, one from each of Paul Ben-Haim’s style periods, Joram (1933) and Kabbalat Shabbat (1968), and identifies ...
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