Tsippi Fleischer/ SAMPLES FROM RECENT Vienna Modern Masters-CDs
| Tsippi Fleischer
(b. 1946, Israel)
Fleischer's creative output embraces a period of more than thirty years during which her works have gained her a great deal of international recognition. She was awarded the Acum Prize (Israel Composers and Publishers) for her life's achievement; the Prime Minister's Prize on the occasion of Israel's 50th anniversary; the Unesco-Paris (Rostrum) Prize for Composition (The Gown of Night and In the Mountains of Armenia); the Acum Prize for the Encouragement of Composition (the cantata Like Two Branches); Israel's Public Council for Culture and Art Prize (Oratorio 1492-1992); awards and prizes of the governments of Finland, the United States and Germany, amongst others. Her compositions appear on compact discs of Opus One (U.S.A.), Vienna Modern Masters (Austria), and Aulos (Germany).
Tsippi Fleischer was born in Haifa. She studied piano and theory formally at the Rubin Conservatory of Music, Haifa, and matriculated from Haifa's Reali School in the oriental stream. Her academic degrees include: BMus in Theory, Composition and Conducting - the Rubin Academy of Music, Jerusalem; BA in Hebrew Language, Arabic Language, Literature and History of the Middle East - Tel Aviv University; Music Teacher's Diploma - the Levinsky College for Higher Education, Tel Aviv; MA in Music Education - New York University; MA in Semitic Linguistics - Tel Aviv University; PhD in Musicology - Bar lian University, Israel. Her doctoral thesis focused on historical research into the origins of Cherubini's Medee, and on an in-depth analysis, using a combination of Heinrich Schenker's and Jan LaRue's analytical methods.
Fleischer is one of the most active contributors to the
After having been immersed in the connection between east and west in her compositional oeuvre - in a variety of genres - Tsippi Fleischer is now devoting her energy to the clarification of her philosophical and spiritual ideas through the medium of large-dimensional works - operas and symphonies. In October 2002 the world premiere of the opera Cain and Abel was presented (in a combined production of the International Biennale for Contemporary Music at the Tel Aviv Museum and the Festival of Israeli Music at the Jerusalem Theatre). At the moment she is completing her chamber opera Victoria (after Sami Michael's novel about the life of Jews in Iraq), and is planning to write more symphonies and a Grand Opera in Akkadian.
In addition to the above, she is currently putting together two albums
of smaller compositions, to appear after the present CD; the first is
documentary, the second, introspective. The documentary CD is a representative
collection of the many performances and interpretations of the song-cycle
Girl-Butterfly-Girl in a number of languages and in many different versions.
The double introspective album to appear later will allow for a perspective
of the spiritual and musical approach from which, since the end of the
90s, Fleischer has fashioned dramatic vocal compositions to texts by
poets such as Paul Verlaine, Else Lasker-Schüler, Dan Pagis, Uri-Zvi
Grinberg, Pinhas Sadeh and Avot Yeshurun.
The work was commissioned for its world premiere by the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. The Vienna Modern Masters label initiated its production even earlier. Symphony No. V was performed and recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic. The shofar players from the "Renanot" Institute of Jerusalem joined the dominant magnetic tape with versions of the Hebrew prayer Kol Nidrei (the richness of sources of oriental cantorial singing is apparent), and the voice of the pioneer of Israeli rock - the well-known artist Shalom Hanoch, who repeats over and over "ken, hamatsav kasheh" - yes, the situation is difficult.
Of the five symphonies, this is the most ethnic in flavor.
The compositional process lasted for two full years, from May 2002
until May 2004, with the "sectional catharsis" involving sophisticated
studios of various sorts in Israel and overseas, work in Jerusalem with
the group of shofar players, as well as a stay in residence for the
formation of the orchestral draft at "Keshet Eilon" in the
As regards the orchestration: the world of pitch explores and is related
to the qualities of the cantorial resonances, while the textures are
designed mainly from riffs producing elements of sound and from long
contrapuntal lines- together achieving the desired atmosphere.
My Childhood Slipped Away (khamka la yalduti, from Saga Portrait)
Oasis, scene 4 (from synopsis)
Symphony no. 6- The Eyes, Mirror of the Soul (in memorian Dorit Harel, 2011)
All these come together with the fragmented line of the two prepared pianos, a somewhat static and sonorous base, like a carpet on which the scene takes place. From this basis of prepared pianos, the listener may absorb the rich, magical quasi- percussion-instrument sound (something between permanently pitched and non-pitched): qanun, harp, cymbals, triangle, various types of mallets, WB, TB, snare drum, xylophone, cowbells, church bells, or other types of bells. This is a percussion orchestra in small dimensions, reminiscent now and then of the gamelan orchestra.
However, the world of pitch relies on a rising chromatic progression from one miniature to the next and the Finale presents an authentic, independent world based on this progression.
In classical terms, the form - that is to say, the internal structure of the miniatures - is often A A B. This implies a fixed layout at the beginning of each miniature: the first quarter is devoted to its title (pict in the score) with complete musical silence, In the second quarter the musical interpretation begins: pianos and strings open - after which the vocalists enter. It seems that this consistent structural order stands in contrast to the wild versatility invested in each miniature.
What had merely been a dream of this work came to fruition when my beloved helpmate, the linguist Aharon Dolgopolsky, was no more with us. Our home was full of memories of him. I found consolation in the support of my son and daughter-in-law.
During the fifteen years 2000-2015 I was enveloped in a shimmering light of continuous inspiration. Together with my many varied activities, these underground waters flowed continuously, awaiting the day they would burst out; and at last that day dawned. I was living in my Haifa home, on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea; often I would sit and compose facing its waves, at times in the early morning or at the end of the day; at other times, during the deep of night, on a bench or a rock on Bat Galim's promenade, by the light of a street lamp. It seemed so appropriate. And at home I created "residencies", composing with the aid of structures of visual inspiration that had coalesced over many years.
Tsippi Fleischer, August 2016