A Mother’s Love: Mother and Infant Moses From the Qur’an

Jocheved, Miriam, and Moses by Charles Foster, 1897

A Mother’s Love: Mother and Infant Moses From the Qur’an

A Mother's Love is the first oratorio based on stories from the Qur'an.
Commissioned by: VOICES Multicultural Chorus
"A Mother's Love is simply phenomenal. This is a work that will go down in history as profound and absolutely necessary for our day and age."
Lorrene Adams, Associate Director VOICES
Lyricist: Sora Jederan-Shpack

A Mother's Love is similar to an oratorio in that the text is based on a sacred book, in this case, The Qur'an. Yet, A Mother's Love is different than our typical oratorio in that the narration of the story and the story itself is not kept to recitatives, but is integrated into the choral pieces. Here the soloists and chorus dialogue back and forth with story and praise.

Each movement of A Mother's Love can stand alone as a unique concert piece with various instrumental combinations or the entire oratorio can be performed, as it was by VOICES, in an evening. The music is composed using makams and mixes these with western harmonies and textures. Melodies of thematic and rhythmic material build upon one another, sharing and interweaving throughout the oratorio. The vocal score is written for intermediate choir with many parts doubling as one would find in folk and Middle Eastern music.

To read about each movement and listen to an audio, choose the title of the movement and click on it's link below:


1 Call To Prayer and The Fatiha

2 The Winds of Time

3 Come Travel

4 In The Cave Of Hira

5 Silent Spirit

6 Salutations To The Prophets

7 Prophets Meet

8 Qur'an 28.1-6

9 These Are The Verses

10 Pharaoh And The New Star

11 Qur'an 20.37-39 & 28.8-13

12 We Inspired Your Mother

13 Infant Moses

14 Qur'an 20.40

15 Allah Is Great

Product Instrumentation Price Duration Level Audio View Score Quantity
Printed Score
Complete Score: SSAATB Choir, SATB Soloists, Piano, 2 Flutes, Chamber Orchestra, Percussion, Middle Eastern Ensemble 1:30 M
Printed Score
Choral Score with Piano Reduction 1:30 M
Printed Score
For individual movements and/or specific instrumentation and voicing click the links for each movement. M
Reviews and Responses:

This is truly an amazing work. None of us had any idea what this process would be like when we started and some of us were a bit intimidated, but as it turned out we all fell in love with every bit of A Mother's Love. I think I can speak for all of us, when I say, we are looking forward to your next oratorio! Sherrie Norman, Choir President

A Mother's Love is simply phenomenal. You've carried themes and sounds throughout the oratorio that add greater meaning and dimension to your text, a text which in itself is also phenomenal. Your rhythms and melodies are engaging and lasting, and your harmonies are consistent, true to your style and capable of portraying textual meaning while always heightening the unexpected. This is a work that will go down in history as profound and absolutely necessary for our day and age. Lorrene Adams, Associate Director VOICES

Your harmonies were exquisite. From the very beginning I was struck by the shear beauty of the harmonic and melodic material. And the text was extremely profound. This is a work that is a masterpiece, a work that will from this point on set you apart as a fine composer and one of the special ones. Steven Smolen Sufi Dervish Turner

From my perspective as a philosopher and theologian, your text with music that supported the meanings brought up questions and then answered them in ways I had never conceived, and which I have not found in the Bible and commentaries. You've provided a space for further examination and contemplation...into the Qur'an and a return to the Bible. Thank you. Stephen Schwartz, Emeritus Professor, Department of Philosophy and Religion, Ithaca College

Sora Jederan-Shpack has done an extraordinary work in composing “A Mother's Love” from “Moses from The Qur’an”. In fact, many divinely-sublime examples are available in the Al-Qur'an pertaining to the important role of a mother in someone's life. However, the decision to present the excellence of a mother's affection as found in the story of the Prophet Moses made the concert even more attractive. As a Muslim, I am really glad to see something different in the way of presenting the content of the Holy Qur'an. Thank you so much to everyone in VOICES chorus and the musicians and conductors who worked so hard to present such a wonderful performance. I look forward to seeing more shows like this. Yusmin Alim, Prominent speaker and leader in and for the Ithaca Muslim Community

Thank you for this opportunity to sing your music, we found it singable, engaging, exciting and powerful. We are excited to participate in all of your future, to be written, oratorios! Vocal soloists: Lauren Smith, Catherine Gale, Andrew Hudson-Sabens, Geoffrey Royall

It was a wonderful evening, magnificent performance, very meaningful and important work you have given the Muslim community. I am grateful to have been a part of it and I look forward to performing it again, insha'allah. H. Oktay Altun, Middle Eastern Ensemble Neysen.

Thank you for sharing such a beautiful oratorio with VOICES. I believe this is such a powerfully important composition. It will be heard worldwide, I am confident. It is great that I keep singing in my head A Mother's Love!! Cora Yao, Choir Member

All the Turkish Muslim families want to thank you for a beautiful concert about the Prophet Muhammad, s.a.w., and the Prophet Musa, s.a.w. We were really impressed with the message you shared and the way non-Muslims participated in the Qur'an's story. It was wonderful how well the non-Muslims accepted us during the rehearsals and the concert. We hope you will make this a yearly event, every Mother's Day. Asu Unsal, New VOICES Choir Member and spokeswoman for the Ithaca Turkish Muslim Community.

I just wanted to tell you how very much I enjoyed learning the music of your Islamic oratorio this semester. I think the music is absolutely beautiful, and I'm so grateful to have been a part of it. You are amazingly gifted! Thank you. Candace Collmer, Choir Member

Thank you so much for involving me in your beautiful program. It was a life time experience for me. My family is also thankful to you for hosting them, they loved it. InshaAllah we can continue this program in other cities to reach more people. Ertugrul Gerdan, Percussionist Middle Eastern Ensemble