Classic Chanukah Medley

Susan H. Day
Grade: 4

“Classic Chanukah Medley” is a collection of four traditional Chanukah songs with a few interconnecting themes arranged for string orchestra.
“Chanukah” is generally played as an upbeat, major-key song. However, here we have more of a “movie” theme interpretation using minor and major-key harmonies to reflect Jewish history’s sadness and joy. “Maoz Tzur is a happy and triumphant Chanukah song reflecting the resiliency of the Jewish people and pride in their heritage. “The Dreidel Song” – a dreidel is a spinning toy. Fast triplet passages and running patterns of sixteenth notes are used to symbolize the spinning of the dreidel. The melody of “Chanukah” is interwoven with the dreidel melody. Also, using a minor-key interpretation, along with the usual major key, this reminds us of the struggles throughout Jewish history. A little motif from “1812” Overture introduces the dreidel section and appears throughout. “Al Hanissim” uses the Spanish/Jewish scale and is very representative of traditional Jewish music.
And it ends on a joyous note!


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