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Ya'akov's Last Words

James Lee III
23 min

The inspiration for this work comes from the biblical book of Genesis chapter 49 in which the Hebrew patriarch Jacob (Ya’akov) pronounces blessing and prophecies on his twelve sons before he dies. Each piano piece is a musical description of the meaning of each son’s name and Jacob’s future prophecy on them individually. The musical commentary of each son occurs between an opening piano statement by Jacob, “And Ya’akov called unto his sons and said…” and a short Hebrew blessing/benediction Shalom Chaverim (go now in peace). In various piano pieces from this set I have also used a traditional Jewish mode known as the “Ahava Rabbah.” —James Lee III

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