Music for Sefirot

Dear Friends:

Reb Zalman:  “I would love it if someone were to write these themes into a symphony in seven movements that we could use for the Simchat Torah dances.”   (From “Simchat Torah Processions”.)

The themes Reb Zalman references in this quote are those associated with each of the seven days of Sukkot and also with the seven processions of Simchas torah.  Each day and procession are associated with one of the seven sefirot / divine attributes:  Chesed / LovingKindness, Gevurah / Strict Justice and Discernment, Tiferet / Balance, Mercy and Harmony, Netzach / Persistence, Focus, Hod / Beauty and Aesthetics, Yesod / Foundation, Malchut / Kingship, Shechinah / divine in-dwelling, tikkun / repair and a healed planet.

When I first read Reb Zalman’s statement, I envisioned a ballet with seven movements based upon the composition.  Halevay / God-willing such a piece and such a production will come to fruition so we can all hear and see it!

Zalman has sometimes spoken of particular pieces of music that evoke associations in us of specific sefirot.  In this post, I have put together various recordings of classical music with such associations.  I brainstormed the list based upon my own understanding of Sefirot;  the list is a current snapshot of a subjective understanding and association with each Sefirah.

I hope you will find this useful in your connections to Sefirot and God.   Enjoy (click a composer’s name below to hear the music)!  Please place suggestions for music that you associate with Sefirot in the comments section, below.  Gabbai Seth Fishman, BLOG Editor

Music for Sefirot, 5769

Chesed:  Ravel: Pavanne, Barber: Adagio for strings, Tchaikovsky: Symphony 6, mvt 2Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue (please ff to section from 5:34 to 7:42), DvorakSymphony 5Wolf:  “Schlafendes Jesuskind, Massenet: Meditation from ThaisTchaikovsky: Symphony 6, mvt 1 (please ff to section from 8:27 to end), Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on a Theme by Tallis, Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves, Brahms: “Wiegenlied, Wolf: “der Genesene an die Hoffnung.

Gevurah: Tchaikovsky: Symphony number 4 (through 1:35), Stravinsky: le sacre du printemps- dance of adolescentsStravinsky: le sacre du printemps- sacrifice Strauss: also sprach zarathustra, Beethoven: groesse fuga, Bach: Art of the fugueBartok: Concerto for orchestraBrittenA Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (please ff to section from 3:40 to 5:32), Dukas:  The Sorcerer’s apprentice (please ff from 8:14 to 9:28), ChopinMarche Funebre, Beethoven: Symphony number 5Mozart: Symphony number 40, Boulez: le marteau sans maitre, Milhaud: la Creation du Monde.

Tiferet: Satie: Gymnopedie #1, Ibert: trois pieces breves #1, Beethoven: Symphony #6, (please ff from 35:15 to end), Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto #1, (please ff from 2:27 to 3:27), Rimsky-Korsakov: Capriccio-Espagnol, Scene and Gypsy Song, (please ff from 10:11 to end), Mozart: Eine kleine nacht musik, Schubert: Symphony #8 in b (please ff from 1:12 to 1:59), Haydn: Symphony #94 in G, Tchaikovsky: Swan Lake Suite, intro, Dvorak: Humoresque #7.

NetzachWagner: Lohengrin, Prelude, Act III, Rimsky-Korsakof: HummelFlug, Chopin: Minute waltz, Rossini: La Gazza Ladra Overture (please ff from 2:26 to end), ProkofievThe Love for Three Oranges, March, Beethoven: Symphony #9, (please ff from 7:48 to end), Handel: Hallelujah Chorus.

HodDebussy: La Mer, “De L’aube a Midi Sur La Mer” (please ff from 1:14 to 2:48), Faure: Pavane, opus 50, Ravel: String Quartet in F, (to 8:42), Bizet: Carmen, Habanera (please ff from 2:13 to end), Chopin: Nocturne in C# minor, Op. 27, #1, Brahms: Hungarian dance #5.

YesodRavel: Bolero, Offenbach: Orpheus in the Underworld, (ff to 7:37) Wagner: Prelude to Tristan und Isolde, Prokofiev: Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64, (balcony scene), Schubert: Serenade, Giordani: Caro Mio Ben, Caccini: Amarilli mia bella, Ross/Adler: Pajama Game, “There once was a man”, MacDermot: Hair, “Aquarius” (please ff from 1:50 to end), MacDermot: Hair, “Let the Sun Shine In” (please ff from 1:04 to end), Harrison, Beatles: “Within you / Without you, Tchaikovsky: Romeo & Juliet Fantasy Overture (please ff from 3:09 to 5:17), Gershwin: Porgy and Bess, “Bess you is my woman now”.

MalchusElgar: Pomp circumstance March #1 (please ff from 1:51 to 3:45), Sanderson: “Hail to the Chief, Traditional (Christian): “Michael Row the boat ashore, Traditional (Christian): “Oh Happy Day, Schoenberg: Pierrot Lunaire, Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Vaughan Williams: Greensleeves, Mahler: das Lied von der Erde, Israel national anthem, American national anthem, Tchaikovsky: 1812 Overture, (please ff 9:18).

One Response to “Music for Sefirot”

  1. Andy Weston Says:

    I just listened to the recovered piano rolls recorded by Mahler himself. Strange to listen to the tempi, the fortes knowing that it was the master himself who gave his impression of his music.

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