Liner notes from the CD Robert Black Conducts:
“Based on a 1980 experience of religious energy and personal sense of the infinite, the piece depicts the composer’s overwhelming spiritual encounter followed by its absorption and the resultant tranquility. It is the composer’s attempt to answer the question “How real is God to you?” posed by the Hasidic Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. At its center is a “niggun”–a melody without words having recognizable links to Turkish and Arabic modality. The composer writes:
‘Revelation is a personal experience of the Divine Presence. It is in two contrasting sections without pause: the first uses extreme registers and tremolos to convey the overwhelming power of that which is beyond perception. Trumpets recall blasts of the shofar, the ram’s horn sounded at the Jewish New Year. At the climax, the dense texture suddenly changes, becoming more intimate, with piano and strings.
In the second section, the intensity and power gradually lessen, suggesting a move from the cosmos to an inner space. Near the end, a prayerful melody like those of the vanishing culture of East European Jewry is introduced in fragments, first in the woodwinds and finally in the trumpet.’
This recording of Revelation is the world premiere.”
— Leslie Kandell