Commissioned by the Israel Chamber Orchestra
In 2007, I was commissioned by The Israeli Chamber Orchestra to compose a new piece to open up the 2007-8 season. “Translucent Rocks” was premiered to excellent reviews on October 2007 with repeated performances. In 2014, Music director Gil Talmi along with conductor Nir kabaretti, chose to re -perform the piece along with pieces by Tchaikovsky, Barber and Hyden. “Translucent Rocks“ has also been performed in Los Angeles in its Symphonic version by different orchestras.
When the Music Director of the Orchestra commissioned me and asked that I reference Jerusalem for the piece, I immediately reflected on the beautiful, ancient Jerusalem stones: On the one hand, solid and unique rocks - they “observe” history throughout time; On the other hand, rocks can also be translucent, (like crystals) so that history and time go “through” them. “Translucent Rocks” is a piece that conveys birth- The birth of Israel, a country that started from nothing and established a beautiful, vibrant land, seen through the “eyes” of the rocks.
The piece is divided into 3 parts with dual meaning: First, sunrise, the beginning of day, which also represents the beginning of time, or creation of a nation- the sun comes up slowly and with it brings rays of hope through a solo cello, solo horn, and small motifs that represent building one vision, together. However, there are many set backs and we’re going forward with excitement and then stop to think and re-evaluate. The second part represents noon to evening – It is the present, today, heavy, tired of struggling, but needs to continue to go forward. The struggle ends with the main melody: full of yearning and emotions- like a mothers’ cry for her children who go to war. Solo trumpet symbolizes the battlefield at the end of the battle- quiet and eerie. Finally we move into the third part, which is more positive and full of future hopes- from sundown to next morning, with our future in mind. The piece ends as it begun, because it is, after all, the circle and cycle of life.
“It was “Translucent Rocks”, a fantasy for orchestra, which was commissioned by The Israeli Chamber Orchestra from the young Israeli composer Sharon Farber, which made the strongest mark at the concert... It’s been so long since I’ve heard such a beautiful piece in every sense of the word, and that during its performance I felt that I was in the classical era, instead of listening to something that recently came out.
Although there is a programmatic reference to Jerusalem stones and to the history that the stones observe in the past, present and optimistic future, the musical phrases, and the honest and warm humanity that Farber expresses, are the elements that make her music a communicative creation that speaks to your heart, without even referring to it’s title. Devoid of any arrogance, with flowing writing and almost innocent harmonies, Farber, who also composed the music for the film “When Nietzsche Wept”, made the large audience respond enthusiastically with a very sincere and authentic feedback.
Ora Binour, Maariv newspaper, Israel