Music

An Edgy ‘Hannah’ Finally Makes It To N.Y.

Modernist opera on a Chanukah theme has been a long time coming.

12/02/2014
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He has waited almost 35 years to see it on a New York stage, but Leonard Lehrman is remarkably sanguine as the two semi-staged performances of his opera “Hannah” are approaching.

Poster for Leonard Lehrman and Orel Odinov Protopopescu’s “Hannah.”

Perlman’s Back, Solo That Is

After a seven-year absence, the acclaimed violinist is out front in a recital.

11/25/2014
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When Itzhak Perlman takes the stage at Avery Fisher Hall next week, it will mark his first solo recital in New York City in seven years.

Itzhak Perlman

Israelis Playing Klez — With Cello?

Welcome to the 12th Night Klezmer collective.

11/18/2014
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In the world of Jewish roots music — that is, music that originated in the shtetls of Eastern Europe — Elad Kabilio has two strikes against him: he’s Israeli and he’s a cellist.

“We wanted to reintroduce klezmer from an angle” listeners might not be familiar with. Courtesy of 12th Night Klezmer

‘Artists’ Voices Should Be Heard’

World-music show featuring Israel’s Idan Raichel and Mali’s Touré draws BDS fire, and a cultural counter-punch.

11/11/2014
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This should have been a story just about music, about a fruitful and enticing cross-cultural collaboration between an Israeli pop icon and the scion of an African musical dynasty. Instead, we begin with a battle of petitions and committees, pitting the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against supporters of the State of Israel.

Vieux Farka Touré and Idan Raichel: A Muslim and a Jewish artist united by their love for music.  Youri Lenquette

Lieder Of The Pack

‘Art Song on the Couch,’ inspired by the edginess of Freud’s Vienna, features music by Mahler, Schoenberg and Strauss.

11/04/2014
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Despite his powerful attraction to literature and the visual arts, Sigmund Freud was by his own admission utterly immune to the charms of music. In a 1914 essay, he wrote, “I spend a long time before [works of art] trying to apprehend them in my own way, i.e. to explain to myself what their effect is due to. Wherever I cannot do this, as for instance with music, I am almost incapable of obtaining any pleasure. Some rationalistic, or perhaps analytic, turn of mind in me rebels against being moved by a thing without knowing why I am thus affected and what it is that affects me.”

Sometimes a song is just a song: Mahler, left, and Freud. Wikimedia Commons

Strings Attached To Sephardic Culture

‘Spanish Odyssey’ duo blends chamber music, jazz and klezmer.

10/08/2014
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The guitar rings like chimes, sounding almost celestial. The bowed lines of the double-bass sigh like a human voice, yearning. The textures and timbres that come out of the instruments are as rich and full as those of a much larger ensemble. It is, quite simply, an enchantingly beautiful sound.

Guitarist Nadav Lev and bassist Remy Yulzari play next week at the Museum at Eldridge Street. Adam Cohen

Neo-Hasidic Rock Band Poised to Release Debut Album

The all women’s Hasidic Rock band Bulletproof Stockings have got some competition. Zusha, self-described as a “neo-Hasidic” rock band formed in the East Village, is poised to enter the Hasid-hipster scene with the release of their debut album on October 28th. The three-man band describes their sound as “a unique blend of jazz, reggae, folk, ska, gypsy swing and traditional Jewish soul.” Stay tuned for Zusha’s EP Release Show in lower Manhattan on October 26th. 

The New Sounds Of ‘Silence’

10/01/2014
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There’s a lively contradiction at work in Basya Schechter’s music. On the one hand, as the singer-songwriter and leader of Pharaoh’s Daughter says, “I love the pentatonic scales; they’re sweet and mournful and yearning.” On the other hand, as her excellent new album, “Dumiyah” (Magenta), reminds a listener, one of the great strengths of her music is the clarity, poise and above all, the simplicity with which she sings, a vocal sound that is stripped of ornamentation and the fake emotion that mars much contemporary music.

Basya Schechter's new CD, "Dumiyah," features a bigger sound than her previous albums.

Singing The Blues, Greek-Jewish Style

Kol Dodi Orchestra plays ‘rebetica’ folk music at Eldridge Street.

08/07/2014
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 When he was a child growing up in Israel, Yaron Hanoka would sit in the back of the family car with his brother and sister, and when their father would play Greek songs on the radio or tape deck they would bristle.

The Kol Dodi Orchestra brings rebetica to the Lower East Side. Courtesy of Museum at Eldridge Street

The Music Of Spanish Exile

In her N.Y. debut, a Catalan singer and lutenist moves from Sephardic songs to John Donne.

07/15/2014
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Clara Sanabras knows something about exile. The thirty-something Catalan singer was born in France, raised in Barcelona and for the past 20 years has lived in London. Her family history is so complicated that even she finds it a bit amusing. Her career path has had enough unlikely turns for an entire music festival.

The cover of Sanabras’ new CD, translated as “Scattered Flight.” Hill & Aubrey
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