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Divertimento - The Blessing of the Priests, by Laurence Glazier

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Published on May 23, 2014

(Computer generated audio.) For sheet music click http://goo.gl/8RQvjE

A deep fractal structure based on the golden ratio permeates this piece. The development and reprise start precisely at the proportions of .382 and .618 of the duration. Divided thus into three, each part is similarly treated, and each part thereof, to a resolution of a few seconds.

I have emulated Gluck's minuet and trio structure, and the mood - tranquil with a hint of shadow - of his masterpiece, the Dance of the Blessed Spirits, which has brought me closer to an early musical experience. As a child I was taken, unwillingly, to synagogue, where I used to witness a ceremony in which the scroll of the Torah is held aloft while the select priests, the cohanim, sing and sway, a living "dance of the blessed spirits".

Last year I realised the first notes of a melody I had thought original, and been working on for a considerable time, were in fact sung as part of that ceremony, the Blessing of the Priests. At the recapitulation, the cello expresses the beautiful tenor voice of the cantor, rising above the chattering congregation which, fifty years ago, included me.

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