Malkhut: Dialoghi d’amore

for piano

James Erber

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for piano

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Composer James Erber
Year of Composition 2018-2020
Duration -


Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-je1mda1


In 2018, I was asked by the American pianist and composer William Penafiel Miranda to write a contribution to an album of short piano pieces in celebration of the 30th birthday of his partner, Grace Hom.

At the time I was reading about Cabbala in mediaeval Italy, so I decided to call my piece Malkuth, the name given to the tenth cabbalistic sephirah, often associated with the female principle.

Nine months later, I revised it, adding the very high and very low lines which surround the middle-register chordal textures which constitute most of the original. The work’s new title Malkuth: Dialoghi d’amore refers both to the two added lines and to the Dialoghi d’amore (“Dialogues on Love”) by the 15th Italian humanist Leone Ebreo (Judah Abravanel), The original version of the piece was written between 24th September and 12th November 2018 in San Vito lo Capo, Sicily and London, and given its first performance by Ian Pace at the Performance Space, City University, London on 1 3th May 2019. It was revised, under its present title, between 26th and 28th February 2020.

“The Kabbalists say that ever y limb of a man’s body has a spiritual power corresponding to it in the sefirah Malkhut. …When a man performs one of the commandments by one of his corporeal limbs, that limb is readied to become a seat and home for the supernal power that is its likeness… Our patriarch Abraham [Abulafiah] was the first to discover this wondrous science…”
Yohanan Alemanno, Shir ha-Ma’alot