Ruah

“Judith Shatin…shows a rich and disciplined imagination in her … Ruah (‘Air, Wind or Breath’) for flute and orchestra. In Hebrew, as in many other languages, the word for ‘breath’ is also the word for ‘spirit’ (which is the Latin word for ‘breath’), and Ruah is, in fact, a multifaceted essy on the human spirit, its windlike freedom of movement and volatile changes of mood, summarized in the titles of the three movements: SoaringSerene, and Impassioned. It is beautifully performed and recorded…by flutist Renee Siebert, for whom it was composed, with Robert Black conducting the Prism Orchestra.” – The Washington Post

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“The music sounded alluring and vital at every step….” – San Francisco Chronicle

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“Judith Shatin’s music for flute and chamber orchestra [Ruah, second movement] has a worn, expressionistic edge–it strikes plaintive chords that dissipate like smoke.” – The Village Voice

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“…But it was the performance of flutist Sara Stern, playing Ruah, a flute concerto by Virginia composer Judith Shatin, that held the audience spellbound. From the first movement, Soaring, which portrayed all manner of things in flight from the tiniest creatures to the most majestic angels, through the pensive second movement and on to the work’s final movement, Impassioned, flutist and orchestra breathed as one being. Conductor Cal Stewart Kellogg’s solid musicianship held in one hand complete control of his orchestra, and in the other full understanding of this remarkable opus.

The work is all about air. Ruah is a Hebrew word meaning ‘breath.’ With flawless technique, Stern executed wide, leaping intervals, interspersed flutterings, and haunting, silver-threaded melodies. Did the work inspire the perfomer to such heights? Or did the performer bring physicality to mystic beauty? The answer is: both.” – Mount Vernon Gazette