Performed by Concerto della Donna, conducted by Iwan Edwards

Instrumentation: SSA Choir with Divisi
Duration: 2:40
Commission: New York Treble Chorus
Premiere: 1/18/04
New York Treble Singers
Virginia Davidson, Conductor
Saint Peters Church
New York, NY

View Score | Purchase Music

Program Note:
Amulet is a setting of the poem of the same name by the distinguished American poet Barbara Goldberg and is used with her kind permission. The poem, included below,  powerfully implores God to spare us from our weaknesses, and to grant us more time on this earth The opening line suggests a connection to the narrative of the escape of the Jews from Egypt that is commemorated in the festival of Passover. Yet, it also has a terrible contemporary resonance with the Covid-19 plague beginning in 2020. And, it refers to the ever-present vice of envy warned about in the last of the Ten Commandments: Thou shalt not covet. Commissioned and by the New York Treble Singers, Amulet was composed during a residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts with support from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. –JS

By Barbara Goldberg © 2003

May the Lord of Death
Pass over our house
May the Lord of envy
Not curdle our whey
May the Lord of greed
Release us from craving
May the great Lord of time
Grant us a stay.

Press Quote:

Amulet (poem by Barbara Goldberg and music by Judith Shatin) was an a cappella selection with delicious tight harmonies and sung with care….” –Ken Hoover, CVNC, An Onlines Arts Journal in North Carolina

“….The poem alludes to Passover and lays out a plea to escape from the evils of greed and envy. The WVC Chamber Choir sang this richly harmonized and abundantly meaningful piece of music with passion…’  –Ken Hoover, Choral Music Review, Online Arts Journal

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