As founder and conductor of the region’s first all-professional concert choir, it is a privilege to write in strong support of the artistic merit of the work of composer Gilad Hesseg. My exposure to Mr. Hesseg is through his choral ballad “Annabel Lee,” words of Edgar Allan Poe. Mr. Hesseg sent me a score and recording some three years ago, and I was immediately so captivated by this music that I listened to it countless times in quick succession and programmed it at the first possible opportunity. The music is dynamic, fresh, and engaging, marked by a youthful vigor and passion that in fact are hallmarks of the poem itself. The rehearsal of the work was embraced with diligence and delight by our singers and pianist (who himself expressed immediate and exuberant appreciation for the work) and was enthusiastically received by the audience who heard our presentation of it in the Fall of 2008. It is a pleasure to note that I have programmed the work again for a CONCORA concert entitled “CONCORA in Love” on February 12, 2012. I welcome the opportunity of hearing and performing more of Mr. Hesseg’s work, and I extend all good wishes in the publication of the upcoming recording Hidden Flame.
Maestro Stanley Sperber
Five years ago I was introduced to Gilad Hesseg by his brother Tommer who is himself an extremely talented musician. I heard a few of Gilad's songs, thoroughly enjoyed them and as a result invited him to write a piece for the Jerusalem Academy Chamber Choir, a semi-professional mixed choir of 30 voices. Although the choir concentrates on a classical repertoire, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to perform something in a different style. Gilad's composition of Annabel Lee far exceeded my rosiest expectations. His setting of the well-known poem of Edgar Allen Poe is highly dramatic and poignant. He most definitely understands the voice and although he makes serious demands on the singers his writing is always idiomatic and convincing. What I thought at first would be a relatively easy Folk song for choir, turned out to be an artistic triumph in the full sense of the expression. After 'passing' the initial 'test' of the performers the piece became a hit with audiences throughout the country. I have also had the opportunity to hear Gilad as a performer and he is a very moving singer in his own right.