Ma’oz Tzur – for strings

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This dramatic arrangement for string orchestra incorporates three traditional melodies for the Hanukkah song,”Ma’oz Tzur” also called “Stronghold of Faith” and Rock of Ages.”

Ma’oz Tzur is an old Hebrew song, expressing thanks for redemption from enemies. There are several variations of melodies and text that have been used over the centuries.

This arrangement for string orchestra is a sort of musical interpretation. Three of the traditional melodies are used. First, we are in the middle of a war or deep personal inner battle. Second is a moment of reflection. Third is victory, overcoming a war, or the inner conflict we are dealing with.

The first melody is used as a rock of truth to cling to during the struggle of a war or a pesonal difficulty. Attacks seem to come from all sides but keeping your inner focus helps you to overcome. This first melody represents that focus.

The second melody begins as a tentative but calming vision. Even in the middle of horrible circumstances, one can tune in with a great thought to keep calmly focused.

The strength and conviction in this second melody grows into the third melody, which is the more common melody sung today. When the battle picks up again one is ready to take on all the challenges and overcome the enemy.

One of the melodies, the most familiar one today is in this choir arrangement

Another melody used in this string arrangement can be heard here: