For mixed choir.
Lyrics: Lea Goldberg
Music: David Zehavi
comissioned by the Musica Nova Consort.
I have chosen this combination of instruments which produces a very specific sound in which the flute is quite conspicuous. My compositional point of departure was the sonority of the ensemble and therefore I have tried to use instruments of different families which permit a variety of sound production; wind, string, plucked instrument and tuned percussion instruments of wood and metal.
There is only one movement and the work is interally divided into two sections which differ from one another but are connected through common thematic material. The material was drawn from the name Rami which by association reminds one of the notes RE and MI (D and E). Both notes run throughout the composition in various ways. The other materials are taken from the scales typical of my chosen instruments, in particular from the pentatonic scale of the marimba and the natural diatonic scale of the harp.
The character is strongly influenced by the impression of a colourful kleidoscope, whose images change fast. It finds expression in the first section in fast changing materials which are almost never repeated, but are placed side by side. Fast motoric parts alternate in the piece with lyrical expressive passages. In the second section the colouring and kleidoscopic character stem from a different treatment – from the harmonic, rhythmic and orchestral aspect – of a melodic idea which repeats itself time and again as if in a persistent ritual.
"Primus Inter Pares" (which means in Latin –first among equals) was commissioned by the "Relache" ensemble based in Philadelphia, USA.
The piece's name alludes to the relatively prominent role of the Marimba compared to the other instruments and it was dedicated to the Israeli percussionist Chen Zimbalista. The piece is based on three Ladino songs taken out of a book called "the Cycle of Life" edited by the musicologist Dr. Shoshana Weich-Shachak. The songs serve as a "shadow" pool, which I have drawn my main melodic and rhythmic motives from, but at same time the beautiful songs themselves appear fully also in the course of the piece treated in my own harmonic language. The piece is quite rhythmical and it combines the ethnic-folkloristic element with a contemporary, art music idiom.