SA with piano: $2.50
SATB with piano: $3.00
Dayeinu is the central song of joy and gratitude from the Passover Seder celebration. My setting of Dayeinu, an exuberant dance, is from the Passover cantata V’higad’ta L’vincha (“And you shall tell your child”) that was composed in 1996 for the Syracuse Children’s Chorus, Barbara Tagg, founder and director, and was commissioned by the Chorus as part of the “Commissioning Music/USA” program of Meet The Composer and the National Endowment for the Arts, with support from the Helen F. Whitaker Fund. The larger composition is based on selections from the Haggadah, the central text of the Passover celebration. One of the most significant themes of the Haggadah, emphasized in my choices of text for the piece, is that we all must experience the story of the deliverance from slavery as if we ourselves had lived through it; we must then tell our children that story so as to pass it down, vividly, from one generation to the next. A recording on CD of the original version for three-part treble chorus with the Syracuse Children’s Chorus, Barbara Tagg, conductor, appears on the album Generations: Music of Gerald Cohen (CRI 879). —Gerald Cohen
Note: Dayeinu, and the entire V’higad’ta L’vincha, are available in versions both for treble chorus and for SATB chorus. Either version can be performed either in a full score version with clarinet, cello and piano; or in the piano reduction.
Kama maalot tovot lamakom aleinu!
Ilu hotsianu mimitsrayim, Dayeinu!
Ilu kara lanu et hayam, Dayeinu!
Ilu sipeik tsorkeinu bamidbar arbayim shana, Dayeinu!
Ilu keirvanu lifnei har sinai, Dayeinu!
Ilu natan lanu et hatorah, Dayeinu!
Ilu hichnu l’erets yisraeil, Dayeinu!
How many acts of kindness God has performed for us!
If God had brought us out of Egypt, Dayeinu! (it would have been enough for us!)
If God had split the sea for us, Dayeinu!
If God had sustained us in the wilderness for forty years, Dayeinu!
If God had brought us before Mount Sinai, Dayeinu!
If God had given us the Torah, Dayeinu!
If God had led us to the land of Israel, Dayeinu!
Dayeinu, and the entire V’higad’ta L’vincha, are available in versions both for treble chorus and for SATB chorus. Either version can be performed either in a full score version with clarinet, cello and piano; or in the piano reduction.
Dayeinu is also the final movement of the instrumental piece Sea of Reeds, in its several arrangements.
Premiere: April 1997 – Syracuse Children’s Chorus, Barbara Tagg, cond.; Syracuse, NY
May 1998 – Juilliard Pre-College Chorus, Rebecca Scott, cond.; New York, NY (SSA version)
April 2006 – Princeton Pro Musica, Frances Slade, cond., Lawrenceville, NJ (SATB version)
April 2010 – Choirs of Jewish Theological Seminary and Hebrew Union College, Joyce Rosenzweig, cond. (SATB version)
May 2010 – Concerto Della Donna, Iwan Edwards, cond.; Montreal, Québec (SSA version)
April 2016 – HaZamir, the International Jewish High School Choir, Joel Caplan, cond., New York, NY (SATB version, “Dayeinu” movement) See video of this performance at Carnegie Hall
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