Hashkiveinu No. 1
By David Nowakowsky
SATB, cantor, keyboard
Review from The Choral Journal, February, 1996
This prayer from the Sabbath Evening Service is set in modern Hebrew and comes with a helpful pronunciation guide, translation, and the original Hebrew text. The prayer asks God for protection through the night and a restful sleep.
The opening section requires SA and TTBB voicing; the remainder calls for SATB and cantor. The keyboard part, which doubles the voices, can be played on organ or piano. Ranges are moderate for alto and bass but quite high (up to a2 and a1) for soprano and tenor, respectively. The soprano tessitura also lies rather high. The cantor’s range is high as well, with numerous a1s. The soloist must have a strong voice, as the line must be heard through a thick choral texture. The homophonic voicings are full and rich, sometimes employing harmonic progressions slightly unfamiliar to Western ears.
Those wishing to explore music from the eastern European and Jewish traditions should give this setting strong consideration. The style is challenging without being overly difficult, the Hebrew text is accessible, and the edition is commendable.
Reviewed by Mark M. Ring