Artwork © Ayala Netzer

Paths of Stone and Water

Choral 11:00

SATB chorus a cappella

Paths of Stone and Water was commissioned by Musica Sacra. It was composed in Cambridge, Massachusetts and completed in December of 2008. The first movement is a setting of a poem by Yehuda Amichai. The text of the second movement is a psalm cento created for this work by Elana M. Messer. The text of the third movement is a modern adaptation of a traditional prayer for rain written by Joseph G. Rosenstein.

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…Osnat Netzer’s work came as a breath of fresh air. Whereas Sandler’s and Górecki’s work reveled in the static, Netzer’s broke from the alabaster into something more akin to folk song. Whereas Sandler’s and Górecki’s works provided ample surprises in unexpected harmonic shifts homophonic writing, Netzer’s music was marked with vast swathes of melodies carousing that followed more traditional rules of counterpoint. Although more traditional voice-leading in the choral parts made Netzer’s work one of the most accessible of the evening, Netzer’s work bore significantly more emotional gravitas. Setting texts from Yehuda Amichai, the Psalms and the Jewish liturgy, Netzer’s unique use of more traditional techniques, mixed with the choir’s excellent shaping of the melodic lines conjured a pointed sense of deep nostalgia and yearning.

Sudeep Agarwala The Tech (2010)