Zeitlin: Palestina

Series: American Music  Publisher: A-R Editions
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Leo Zeitlin
An Overture for the Capitol Theatre, New York

Edited by Paula Eisenstein Baker, Robert S. Nelson

A076 Zeitlin: Palestina
978-0-89579-800-8 Full Score (2014) 11x17, xix + 59 pp.

Performance Parts (Available Separately)

Rental Parts (2015)
Set of 66 parts: 2(+picc)222 (+alto sax 1-2, tenor sax) 4431 88664 timp, perc 1-2, bells, harp, celesta/organ, errata
It is two weeks before Rosh Hashanah 1929, the Jewish New Year, and the movie show is about to start at the Capitol, one of New York’s huge “picture palaces.” Over the decade, the theater has often programmed a minor work on Jewish motives to acknowledge the holidays, but this year, their choice is more ambitious: conductor Yasha Bunchuk raises his baton, and the eighty-man Capitol Grand Orchestra opens the program with Leo Zeitlin’s Palestina.
Trained in Russia, Zeitlin (1884–1930) was an accomplished composer, conductor, performer, and pedagogue. In writing Palestina, Zeitlin, as he had done during his entire career, was fulfilling the goals of the Society for Jewish Folk Music, which he joined in 1908 while still a student at the St. Petersburg Conservatory: to compose and perform works of art music on motivic material drawn from Jewish cantillation, liturgy, and folk song. In addition to employing two modes central to Jewish music and several Jewish tunes, in Palestina Zeitlin actually imitates the shofar calls heard in the synagogue before and during Rosh Hashanah and at the conclusion of Yom Kippur. This edition includes an extensive essay on the composer and on the themes and structure of Palestina, with insights into the Capitol Theatre and the role of music in picture palaces of this era.