Small, mixed orchestral ensemble
Creative Vision for the Track:
Having taught beginning piano lessons for many years I’ve encountered this tune (the Faber books title it “500 Year Old Melody”) more than a few times. I’ve always appreciated it’s beautiful, haunting melody. My students have commented on it as being one of their favorites to learn and play for recitals.
The melody is the musical source for “Hatikva” which means “hope”. I attempted to capture both the pensive and hopeful nature of the piece as that is the nature of the text.
While the A section lives solidly in A minor the B section moves to F major to reinforce the idea of hope and positivity.
Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):
Key: A minor
Tempo: QN=104 shifting to 94 and a ritardando during the coda.
The melody is diatonic to A aeolian but many of the settings I listened to repeatedly used a V7 to Imin which invokes a momentary shift to A harmonic minor.
My only nod to the V7 is using a Bdim7 leading to the Amin in the middle of the B section. (Bdim7 could be construed as the upper four notes of an E7b9 chord omitting the root E.)
I often used a Bb/A harmonization to add some chromatic energy and sadness. I consider the Bb/A as a modal interchange chord taken from the parallel A Phrygian mode. I follow it immediately with a Imin chord then reinstate the B natural in the listener’s ear by moving to a G triad.
Main Instruments used:
Solo patches: Clarinet, French Horn, Trumpet
Sections: Low Flutes (ARK2), Piccolo, Flutes, Oboe, Bassoon, French horns, Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Celli, Bass, Harp, Percussion, Piano w Pad (Logic)
All instruments are BBCSO except where noted above.