Nick Roth Music

Parah  (2008)

for clarinet in Eb, clarinet in G, soprano saxophone and bass clarinet



The title of this piece came to me as a single word in a dream and it was only after waking and looking it up that I learnt its meaning and language.

"Speak to the Children of Israel, and they shall take to you a completely red cow, which is without blemish, and upon which a yoke has not come." (BaMidbar 19:2)

The word Parah is associated with the cleansing ritual to be carried out after coming into contact with a dead body, and which requires the blood of a 'red' heifer, or a female cow that has not yet given birth to her first child. The Haftarah read on the Sabbath of Parashat Parah contains the verse:

"And I shall sprinkle pure water upon you, that you be cleansed." (Ezekiel 36:25)

Parah was commissioned by the Late Music Festival and York University and was premièred in the Jack Lyons Concert Hall on 16th May 2009 by the Sefiroth Clarinet Quartet - Susi Evans, Merlin Shepherd, Nick Roth and Paul Roe.