Jewish music

Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’: Both Sides Now

Was the German composer’s oratorio a nod toward his Jewish ancestry — or the full fruition of his Christian identity?

11/09/2010
Staff Writer

When the New York Philharmonic performs Felix Mendelssohn’s rarely heard “Elijah” (1846) oratorio this weekend, many will no doubt see it as proof that the composer always identified with his family’s Jewish faith.

Bass-baritone Gerald Finley sings the role of Elijah in the New York Philharmonic’s production of the oratorio.

Looking Back on Zamir at Fifty

11/05/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Although the dinner celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Zamir Chorale took place last Saturday night, and the gala concert at Carnegie Hall was on the Sunday that followed, I must admit that, as a participant in both, I am having trouble snapping myself back into the here and now. I had such a wonderful time!

Rabbi Gerald C. Skolnik

New Musical Life For A Supposedly Dead Language

Adrienne Cooper performs new/old Yiddish songs at Drom.

11/04/2010
Special To The Jewish

Jewish history is too unpredictable for folks to count out the Yiddish language just yet. After all, 200 years ago Hebrew was supposedly a dead language used only in Jewish worship. Could there be a real-life version of the mythical “Yiddishland?”

“I don’t think there’s going to be a secular Yiddish community in which people live everyday lives in Yiddish,” Adrienne Cooper reluctantly admits. “But among artists there’s no reason this material can’t be taken up as a means of creative communication.”

New CD consists entirely of material that is either brand new or significantly re-imagined Yiddish songs

Zamir Lifts Women’s Voices

11/01/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

To be a Jewish musician is easy, says Matthew Lazar, but to be a Jew and a musician is sometimes difficult

Nevertheless he has overcome many hurdles over the years as he guided the world-renowned coeducational Zamir Chorale as its director and conductor — in an age when modern Orthodox Jewish sensibilities shifted fundamentally to the right.

Zamir Chorale was founded by Stanley Sperber in 1960. He made aliya in 1972 and passed the baton to Lazar.

Theodore Bikel presents talit to Matthew Lazar at Zamir gala. Photo by Tim Boxer

A Timely Reminder of the Power of Music

10/20/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Just a few evenings ago, my synagogue in Forest Hills formally installed Hazzan Henry Rosenblum as its new Cantor. Having just concluded a lengthy tenure as the Dean of the H. L. Miller School for Cantorial Music at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Hazzan Rosenblum is both a friend and a mentor to countless young Hazzanim, and a precious colleague to those who have served as Cantors for many years.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Strong Jewish Women, The CD: Galeet Dardashti's 'The Naming'

09/08/2010
Special to the Jewish Week

Galeet Dardashti, founder of the all-woman band Divahn, never set out to be a Jewish feminist icon or spokeswoman. She just wanted to follow in the footsteps of her highly musical family.

Galeet Dardashti
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