Updated: Aug 22
New! Scrolling Score YouTube Video for Mi y'maleil
(SATB Chorus & Chamber Orchestra)
Mi y'maleil, a piece for Chanukah for mixed chorus and piano or chamber orchestra
Promotional synthesized performance and scrolling score video.
Seeking live performances.
Music: © Copyright 2005 by Ione Press, Inc., a division of ECS Publishing Group. www.ecspublishing.com All rights reserved. Used by permission.
The sheet music is available from www.ecspublishing.com
The traditional Hebrew words Mi y 'maleil ask who can retell all the terrible things that have happened to the Jewish people over the millenia. The response, that does not answer this insurmountable question, is that in each era a hero or sage came to offer us assistance. It is a traditional Jewish attitude to grant a sage equal stature to a hero. Ideally,
a hero possesses both qualities.
Next follows the word "Sh'ma!," or "Hear!" This word is very meaningful for the Jewish people as our Credo begins with the words "Sh'ma, Yisraeil! Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai echod!" or "Hear, 0 Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is one!" Then follow the words "Bayamim haheim baz'man hazeh," or "In ancient days (and) at this time of year," that are taken from the blessing said over the Chanukah candles. Next, the reason for the holiday, the victory of Judah Maccabee and his fighters over their Greek oppressors, is remembered. The text closes with the hope of a Jewish people united in (divine) redemption achieved through deed and sacrifice.
The music begins with a brief piano introduction followed by an original yet traditional sounding melody that is used for the recurring Chorus sections. The next section responds to the Chorus. Then the word "Sh'ma!," employs the beginning of the tune associated with the Jewish Credo, "Sh'ma, Yisraeil" Next, for the words "Bayamim haheim
baz 'man hazeh," I fashioned a reference to the tune I used for those same words that appear in another Chanukah composition of mine, Haneirot halalu (Catalog No. 5492). The remaining words of the Verse sections and recurring Chorus sections are set to melodies and harmonies based on the music of these opening sections.
I arranged Mi y'maleil for chamber orchestra in 2014. The full score (Catalog No. 8155) and parts (Catalog No. 8156) are available for sale from the publisher. The instrumentation is as follows: Flute, 2 Oboes, B-flat Clarinet, Bassoon, F Horn, 2 B-flat Trumpets, Timpani, Harp and Strings
Mi y'maleil is also available from the publisher in a version for voice and piano (Catalog No. 6461).
---Stanley M. Hoffman
English Singing Translation
Who can recount
Who can recount the troubles that befell us,
Who can number them?
In every age a champion or scholar
Came to give us help.
Sh'ma! (0 hear!) In ancient days at this time of year,
Maccabee, the fearless soldier, came to our aid.
In our time, Israel must unite
To be redeemed through action and sacrifice!
English singing translation by Stanley M. Hoffman
Hebrew Singing Transliteration
Mi y' -ma-leil g' -vu-rot Yis-ra-eil, otan mi yim-neh?
Hein b'-chol dor ya-kum ha-gi-bor, go-eil ha-am.
Sh'ma! Ba-ya-mim ha-heim ba-z'man ha-zeh,
Ma-ka-bi mo-shi-a u-fo-deh.
Uv' -ya-mei-nu kol am Yis-ra-eil yit-a-cheid, ya-kum l' -hi-gaeil!
Traditional Hebrew words
(Use the vowel sound "i" (as in "tick") for letters followed by
apostrophes. The "ch" sound should always be pronounced as
in the German word "ach.")
IPA Guide to Hebrew Pronunciation
mi j1-ma-lel 91-vu-rot jis-ra-el o-tan mi jim-ne
hen b1-x::,l dor ja-kum ha-gi-bor go-el ha-am
J1-ma ba-ja-mim ha-hem ba-zman ha-ze
ma-ka-bi mo-J1-a u-fo-de
uv-ya-me-nu k::,l am jis-ra-el jit-a-xed ja-kum 11-hi-ga-el