The Voice of Isaac An Oratorio for Chorus, Soloists, and Chamber Orchestra

2003 (rev. 2015) | Commissioned by PALS Children’s Chorus | libretto by Howard Frazin | 30 minutes

Available from Edition Peters.

Clear in design and Brittenesque in texture…ingeniously scored…[with] an almost unbearable poignancy.
— The Boston Globe


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Versions

  • Chorus and Chamber Orchestra

    Narrator, treble solo (Isaac), baritone solo (Abraham), SATB chorus, SSA ensemble, and orchestra (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, percussion [Chinese cymbal, medium bass drum, large bass drum, tubular bells, vibraphone, marimba], piano, and strings).*
    Available from Edition Peters.

  • Children’s Chorus and Chamber Orchestra

    Narrator, treble solo (Isaac), baritone solo (Abraham), SSA children’s chorus, and orchestra (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, percussion [Chinese cymbal, medium bass drum, large bass drum, tubular bells, vibraphone, marimba], piano, and strings).*
    Available from Edition Peters

  • Solo Voices, String Quartet, and Piano

    Baritone solo, SAT voices, string quartet, and piano. Commissioned by Words & Music.
    Contact to Request Score

*Also available in performing edition with solo piano reduction.


Program Note


Libretto

1. Overture (Genesis 22:1–10)

NARRATOR (Spoken)
The time came when God put Abraham to the test. “Abraham,” he called, and Abraham replied, “Here I am.” God said, “Take your son Isaac, your only son, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.”

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Select Performances

Oratorio Chorale
What Binds Us Together: The Binding of Isaac Story in Music

Emily Isaacson, artistic director
Keith Phares, baritone
Christopher Staknys, piano
Unitarian Universalist Church
Brunswick, ME
May 4, 2019 (two performances)

Oratorio Chorale
What Binds Us Together: The Binding of Isaac Story in Music

Emily Isaacson, artistic director
Keith Phares, baritone
Christopher Staknys, piano
Temple Beth El
Portland, ME
May 2, 2019

Listening In
An Evening of Vocal Music by Howard Frazin

Keith Phares, baritone
Sarah Pelletier, soprano
Krista River, mezzo-soprano
Charles Blandy, tenor
Linda Osborn, piano
Harvard University
Dunster House Library
Cambridge, MA
April 28, 2019

Coro Allegro and Boston City Singers
(Premiere of revised SATB version)

David Hodgkins, conductor
David Kravitz, baritone
Samuel Higgins, boy soprano
Sanders Theatre
Cambridge, MA
March 13, 2016

Temple Emunah Sehihot Program

Sarah Pelletier, soprano
Krista River, mezzo-soprano
Matthew Anderson, tenor
Brian Church, baritone
Linda Osborn, piano
Temple Emunah
Lexington, MA
September 8, 2012

Words & Music: The American Composer II

St. Francis Episcopal Church
Great Falls, VA
May 20, 2012

Boston Arts Academy Concert Choir and Members of Emmanuel Music and Lorelei Ensemble

Beth Willer, conductor
Joshua Taylor, baritone
Roland Hayes School of Music Auditorium
Boston, MA
May 18, 2010

Club Night Concert Series

Libella Quartet
Asako Shibata, piano
St. Botolph Club
Boston, MA
April 11, 2006

Faculty Artist Concert

Libella Quartet
Anny Cheng, piano
Pickman Hall, Longy School of Music
Cambridge, MA
November 9, 2005

PALS Children’s Chorus (Premiere)

Johanna Hill Simpson, conductor
Robert Honeysucker, baritone
Jordan Hall
Boston, MA
March 1, 2003