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Exploring the often surprising links between concepts, themes and people in classical music, from medieval to modern


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Saturday, December 13, 2014 Permalink

The Hebraic Connection

"Musicians" (artist unknown)



Many composers—Jewish or not—have incorporated Hebraic themes and styles into their music, and whether religious or secular in spirit, their efforts display a wonderful diversity.

In this hour, works by Ravel, Bloch, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Bernstein and more.

CD Title Group/Artist Catalog # UPC
Klezmer Concertos (for “The Maypole”) David Krakauer, Barcelona Symphony, Gerard Schwarz Naxos 8.559403 636943940327
Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf, etc. (for Overture on Hebrew Themes) Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Claudio Abbado Deutsche Grammophon 429396 028942939622
Dvorak/Bruch (for Kol Nidrei) Janos Starker, London Symphony Orchestra, Antal Dorati Mercury Living Presence 432 001-2 028943200127
Wolfsohn: Jewish Rhapsody (for “Wedding Song”) Jascha Nemtsov Oehms Classics OC572 4260034865723
Bernstein: Kaddish / Chichester Psalms Royal Liverpool Philharmonic & Choir, Gerard Schwarz Naxos 8.559456 0636943945629
Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Concerto no 2 Jascha Heifetz, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Alfred Wallenstein RCA Gold Seal 7872-2-RG [none]
Bloch: Concerto Grosso/Schelomo Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, Howard Hanson Mercury Living Presence 432 718-2 028943271820
Ravel: Sheherazade, 2 Melodies Hebraiques, etc. Orchestra de l’Opera de Lyon, John Eliot Gardiner EMI CDC 7 49689 2 077774968928
Shostakovich: The Symphonies (for From Jewish Folk Poetry) Elizabeth Soderstrom, Ortun Wenkel; Concertgebouw Orchestra, B.Haitink Decca 475 7413 028947574132
Birds on Fire: Jewish Music for Viols Fretwork Harmonia Mundi HMU 907478 093046747824

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