Al Mordot Hacarmel (On the Slopes of Mount Carmel), Symphonic Poem for Orchestra, Alto and Choir, Op. 335 (1963)

Sergio Comissiona, Conductor
Ronenei Carmel Choir
Kol Israel Symphony Orchestra (The Broadcasting Service Orchestra)

Solo: Alto

Choir: Mixed Choir

Orchestration: 2,2,2,2,-4,3,3,1-timp+2- pn, hp-str

Lyrics: Shmuel Hupert

Duration: 16:15 minutes

Publisher: The Marc Lavry Heritage Society

Synopsis:
In 1963, Marc Lavry moved to Haifa. He was fascinated with the exquisite landscape of the city, the way Mount Carmel rises from the beautiful blue Mediterranean sea, as well as it history connected with the prophet Elijah. Lyricist Shmuel Hupert brought his poem “Me’arat Hatishbi” (Elijah’s cave) to Lavry who immediately set music to the text.

The Symphonic Poem describes the landscape of Lavry’s new city — Haifa.
He incorporated the song Me’arat Hatishbi, written for Alto and Choir, into the composition to depict the sublime feeling he had walking on the same Mount Carmel Elijah walked.

The composition opens with a percussion roar depicting the majestic Mount Carmel rising from the Mediterranean. It continues with a lyrical description of the beautiful landscape surrounding Mt. Carmel, the sea, sky, and Jezreel Valley (Emek Israel.) One can hear the birds twittering or the children playing (through a hint from the composer’s children song) and a burst of emotions at the beauty that surrounds Mount Carmel.
The choir joins by humming a melody, reminiscing the ancient time when Elijah walked the mountain and hid in a cave.
The Alto soloist and the choir join the orchestra in the song “Me’arat Hatishbi” (Elijah’s Cave.)

The composition concludes with the choir calling out the word Hacarmel (Mount Carmel) with awe.

The symphonic poem was premieres in September of 1966 by the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sergio Comissiona.

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