The focus of “Adonai, We Will Not Forget” is a determination to overcome evil. I wanted to express the drive and will of the people. This piece contrasts a static choir melody with a complex, jagged orchestra (or piano) accompaniment. The choir sings only five pitches—C, D, E, E-flat, and F.This piece is part of the oratorio, Choose Life, Uvacharta Bachayim. The librettist and I changed a few words at the beginning so “Adonai” could be performed as an anti-hate work.
I will not forget you, nor the evil I have seen,
lest it seize me by the throat
and choke my last remaining breath.
Adonai, Holy One,
we will not forget you
in whose image we are made.
We will not forget our dead,
lest families shall have died in vain,
lest hatred rise to kill again.
We will not forget the evil,
lest it seize us by the throat,
tear the children from our arms,
and choke humanity’s last breath.