Michael Horvit: A Composer Portrait

This work was commissioned in 1986 by organist Kenrick Mervine for his wife Barbara. Based on the text of the Old Testament prophet, it is a dramatic, yet lyric, cantata for solo voice and organ. The opening recitative is a forceful statement of God's wrath upon the sinners among his people. This is followed by the dramatic prophecy of the re-establishment of Israel. The ensuing description of the rebuilding of the land is set in an evocatively Romantic manner. The final promise reprises the dramatic opening.


The Hebrew phrase Emanu El is translated as "God is with us”. This work for SATB chorus, baritone soloist, trumpet, trombone and organ was commissioned by Congregation Emanu El of Houston in 1984 on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the Temple. It is energetic and celebratory in character, punctuated throughout by trumpet and trombone fanfares.


This chorus was written for the installation of Roy Walter as Senior Rabbi at Temple Emanu El, Houston, in 1978. The sinuous melody of the oboe opens and concludes the piece, and alternates with the SATB chorus throughout, commenting upon the text, which is one of the most important prayers in the Jewish liturgy.


This song cycle for soprano, clarinet and piano was commissioned by Ann Diers and the Lyrichord Ensemble of New Haven, Connecticut, and premiered by that group in the Yale Summer Concerts series in 1980. Based on three of Shakespeare's most well known poems, they are scored for soprano, clarinet, and piano. The first and third are languorous, lyrical love songs, while the second, in contrast, is bright, cheerful, and whimsical. In the outer songs, the piano provides a lush harmonic texture, against which the voice and clarinet unfold a sensuous duet. The middle song features sprightly irregular rhythms and meters.


She walks in beauty was dedicated to my dear friend and colleague, mezzo-soprano Elena Nikolaidi, on the occasion of her 80th birthday. We'll go no more a'roving is dedicated to “S.M.", a great friend of my youth with whom I went a'roving a'plenty. Indian Serenade, based on the Romantic, sensuous poem by Shelly, is a love song and is dedicated to my wife, Nancy.

MICHAEL HORVIT (b. 1932) is Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of Houston School of Music, where he has chaired that department since 1967. For 25 years he served as Director of Music atTemple Emanu El in Houston. During his studies at Yale, Harvard, Tanglewood and Boston University, his composition teachers included Aaron Copland, Lukas Foss, Walter Piston, Quincy Porter and Gardner Read.

His works range from solo instrument and vocal works to large symphonic compositions, choral cantatas and operas, many written specifically for the Jewish liturgy. They are available from several publishers, including C. F. Peters, Recital Publications, Shawnee Press, E. C. Schirmer, Southern Music and Transcontinental Music Company.