chanukkah menorah.jpg

MIDI Mockup of Lights On!—A Hanukkah Celebration

Lights On! is a festive Jewish offering for Holiday concerts.
Listeners embark on a musical journey through a traditional prayer
melody and eight diverse Hanukkah tunes, each representing one of
the eight days of Hanukkah.

Some tunes are well known, such as"O Hanukkah O Hanukkah," while others
might be discoveries, such as the Sephardic "Ochos Kandelikas." Highlights include
frequent counterpoint with various combinations of the the tunes. There is a
section of klezmer music with a clarinet solo as well as a melodramatic violin cadenza.

The structure of the piece is a little bit like a spinning dreydel that goes out of control,
with a climax where all eight tunes play simultaneously. I add the tempo marking "Prestissimo Mashuguna,"
which I so hope is original. The joyous and sparkling quality of the piece is intended to
complement and balance all the wonderful Christmas music on holiday programs.

Lights On! was commissioned by Jed Gaylin and the Bay Atlantic Symphony in New Jersey.