||Eric Whitacre (1970 - ) is a contemporary American composer. Although he is still young, he has composed in many different musical genres, especially in choral music, where he shows his remarkable talent. Because Whitacre tactfully mingles classical and modern musical characteristics, he is always invited to compose music for ensembles throughout the world. In 2001, Whitacre became the youngest recipient ever awarded the coveted Raymond C. Brock commission by the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA).|
Five Hebrew Love Songs is one of the few choral works of Whitacre’s with an accompaniment. Completed in 1996, this work was written for a soprano solo, a pianist, and a violinist. In 2000, it was rearranged for a mixed choir. Up to this point in time, there have been five different versions of the the arrangement. Five Hebrew Love Songs are presented in the form of a suite, the lyrics are five Hebrew love poems written by his wife, Hila Plitmann. The first song, Temuna（A Picture）depicts the refined and subtle love inside a person's heart, just like an imprint left in one’s mind. The second song, Kala Kalla（Light Bride）describes a newly married man's expectation for love, and exquisitely expresses his eagerness for love. The third song, Larov（Mostly）uses roof and sky as the main characters, and tactfully takes the close distance between them as a metaphor for the subtle distance between two lovers, which is both close and far. The fourth song, Eyze Sheleg! （What Snow!）associates the falling snowflakes with the frequently appearing perfect hopes, just like the joy of love approaching trippingly. The fifth song, Rakut（Tenderness）depicts the simple, honest, sincere and direct love that cannot be described by more words.
The first song, Temuna is a song especially composed for two-part female voice with violin and the piano, and presented with a C major triad and a C minor triad in an interchanging way. The song is full of alternate changes of brightness and darkness. Besides, the rhythm of a Sicilian dance is employed as the main material all throughout this song, creating a rhapsodic atmosphere. The second song, Kala Kalla is replete with episodic characters and contrasts. The entire song presents intense changes in tempi, harmony, rhythm, melody, texture and dynamics. The third song, Larov makes use of the up and down scale to create the effect of “word- painting” and presents a tableau painted with lyrics. The song is composed of many fourth and fifth intervals, contributing to the music’s feeling of more fluctuations and waves. The fourth song, Eyze Sheleg, is composed of tone clusters intended to imitate snowflakes and to create the beautiful scene of falling snowflakes all around which also accommodates the free rhythm. The fifth song, Rakut, uses a dotted-note motive to create the rhythm of dance music. When matched with the melody of the Hebrew tribal style, the whole song ends in romance.
The master report consists of five parts. The first is an introduction. It is followed by: Biography of the Composer, Eric Whitacre, Biography of the Lyricist, Hila Plitmann, Compositional Techniques of Five Hebrew Love Songs and Interpretation of this work and finally, a Conclusion. There are five appendices added. Appendix 1 is a basic and brief introduction of Hebrew language, and its pronunciation rules. Appendix 2 presents the lyrics in their original language and a translation. Appendix 3 contains an explanation of the pronunciation of the lyrics of the Five Hebrew Love Songs. Appendix 4 is the full text of an e-mail reply from Hila Plitmann. Appendix 5 introduces all the choral works of Eric Whitacre.