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Even a Fist Was Once an Open Palm

A powerful setting of an Israeli poet’s longing for peace
Yehuda Amichai

A powerful setting of Israeli poet Yehuda Amichai’s plea for peace after times of conflict. In the opening pages, the word “remember” arises out of a sea of voices, reminding us to return to the openness which makes trust possible. This evocative song was the Winner of the Craig and Janet Swan Composer Prize, and Recipient of Highest Honors in the Waging Peace through Singing Project.

This song is included on the CD, Finally On My Way To Yes, which may be ordered below.


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Look Listen Instrumentation/Voicing Duration Level Item Delivery Method Price Quantity SATB a cappella - Choral Score
7' A SEA-026-01 Sheet Music
$3.00 SATB a cappella - Choral Score
7' A SEA-026-01D Licensed PDF

Excerpt from "Anniversaries of War"

Poem by Yehuda Amichai.
English translation by Barbara and Benjamin Harshav

Remember: even the departure to terrible battles
passes by gardens and windows
and children playing, a dog barking.

Remind the fallen fruit
of its leaves and branches,
remind the sharp thorns
how soft and green they were in springtime,
and do not forget,
even a fist
was once an open palm and fingers.

Reviews and Responses: 

"Several pieces stand out among those collected here, but [Alexander's] setting of poet Yehuda Amichai's Even a Fist was Once an Open Palm is particularly potent and makes one sit up and take notice." David N. Lewis, All Music Guide (copyright 2006)


University of Minnesota Chamber Singers - Thomas Lancaster, conductor (Minneapolis, MN)   * Premiere


Spiritus Chamber Choir - Janet Youngdahl, conductor (Calgary, Alberta, CANADA)




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