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Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm

A powerful setting of an Israeli poet’s longing for peace
Yehuda Amichai

A powerful setting of Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai’s plea for peace.  Opening with the word “remember” arising out of a sea of voices, this evocative work calls on us to return to the openness which makes trust possible.  Winner of the Craig and Janet Swan Composer Prize, and Recipient of Highest Honors in the Waging Peace through Singing Project.

This song is included on the CD, Finally On My Way To Yes, which may be ordered below.

Individual tracks may be downloaded at the following online stores:

The voice parts in this piece interact with one another on a deep level, calling for an ensemble with a strong sense of pitch, dynamic range, and musical maturity.

Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Price Quantity SATB a cappella - Choral Score
7'00" A SEA-026-01 $3.50
Sheet Music SATB a cappella - Choral Score
7'00" A SEA-026-01D $2.00
Licensed PDF Finally on My Way to Yes - CD
60'00" SEA-CD-01 $10.00

Excerpt from "Anniversaries of War"

Poem by Yehuda Amichai.
English translation by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav

Remember: even the departure to terrible battles
passes by gardens and windows
and children playing, a dog barking.

Remind the fallen fruit
of its leaves and branches,
remind the sharp thorns
how soft and green they were in springtime,
and do not forget,
even a fist
was once an open palm and fingers.

Reviews and Responses: 

"Several pieces stand out among those collected here, but [Alexander's] setting of poet Yehuda Amichai's Even a Fist was Once an Open Palm is particularly potent and makes one sit up and take notice." David N. Lewis, All Music Guide (copyright 2006)


University of Minnesota Chamber Singers - Thomas Lancaster, conductor (Minneapolis, MN)   * Premiere
Spiritus Chamber Choir - Janet Youngdahl, conductor (Calgary, Alberta, CANADA)



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