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
ideology of the connection between composition and music education in Israel. Her fostering of the ability to harmonize, her pioneering research into Hebrew Song in its full historical and stylistic implications and the synthesis between east and west - all these have led to the emergence of new generations of musicians under her tutelage (conductors, composers and educators). In the coming years her writings on the following subjects will be published: a Book of Hebrew Song, covering 120 years of its historical musical development (the first full treatment of Hebrew Song to date); a book dealing with the teaching of harmonization of songs (in a method she developed); and a monograph on the harmonic language of the Israeli light-music composer, Matti Caspi.

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 Fifth Symphony

The four flowing audio-lines come at the ear from every direction and develop expressions from the rhetorical/dramatic point of view. These progress from the ideal of construction, through the battle for survival, and until the dreamed-of calm which will perhaps one day accompany all of those who live in this country; it is easier said in art than done in reality...

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 western Galilee.

The compositional process was sectional and complex at one and the same time: from the cantors singing with religious fervor (their sources are from Cabin, Persia, Syria, Kurdistan, Morocco), through the intensification of their intuitive renditions by means of electronic arrangement and the shaping of their "narrative" flow into five sections in a single continuity, and ending in the creation of orchestral textures. When the synchronization between the orchestra and cantors began, the original score changed into an IDEA where mathematical cognition resulted in its completion and facilitated its realization. In each performance there will still remain a spark of creativity - finding the ultimate balance between the magnetic tape and the live performers.

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.
The piano, presented as a refined percussion instrument, creates a very special counterpoint in relation to the orchestra.
The five sections (representing five basic moods) flow into one another either as an organic
continuation or a contradiction. The beginning of the fifth section is more lyrical, concluding in "The Dance" in which all participate; perhaps they are dancing barefoot on the sands of the seashore? With this in mind, I used concrete percussion instruments such as shells, branches of trees and bottles of sand.

from Symphony no II (The Train)

from Symphony no III (Regarding Beauty)

My Childhood Slipped Away (khamka la yalduti, from Saga Portrait)

The choral-waltz slips awaly quickly, as the words would suggest. It serves as a prelude to the coming sections. It tells of the passing of life more poetically than 'The Portrait'.

My Childhood Slipped Away

Oasis, scene 4 (from synopsis)
It would be good to go with you, say Ali and Laila, but we will not be able to, states Laila after serious consideration. The brother and sister, children of the desert, sing of their "duty and tradition" and of their need to remain in the desert for generations to come, so as to provide water for those who thirst; the Israelites state that, on their way to the Land of Canaan, they will never forget the kindness shown them in the desert. In the Finale they all sing sadly of their parting, mixed with the hope that each would live in his own tradition, in freedom and in peace. The chorus moves the plot forward, opening and closing the opera, and their singinq often accompanies the six soloists.

Symphony no. 6- The Eyes, Mirror of the Soul (in memorian Dorit Harel, 2011)

The performers (...) transmit the compactness of a new sound concept come into being within the ensemble itself. The same lengthwise live quadrophone (human, not technological) of four focuses of color-voice-instrument across the forefront of the stage, is meant to make a clear statement to the audience. There are always two singers (alto + bass ‘for a masculine nature’, soprano + tenor ‘for a feminine nature’) forming the leading obbligato (“obl” in the score); by their side is the accompanying pair of singers whose function is defined as ornamental (“orn” in the score). This then is the ‘vocal and instrumental apparatus’ or ‘the apparatus of timbre and gender’.

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.


Adapa, grand opera (sung in Akkadian) in three acts, eleven scenes

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.

I felt like painting in Sound, not impressionistic but rather archaic, dramatic, atmospheric Sound, all surrounded by nature. Constantly I impressed upon my inner being: the main point is to be part of nature. And so I trod lightly within a kind of civilization, whether on the sands of the sea or on the floor- titles of my home; simplicity and great power.

Tsippi Fleischer, August 2016