Music

A Tempest Over Tutu

11/02/2010
Staff Writer

(Cape Town, South Africa)The fat lady will sing in Israel next week, so to speak, but the battle to silence Israel isn’t over in South Africa.

That’s the opinion of leaders of South Africa’s Jewish community, who say the decision last week by the Cape Town Opera to stage its production of “Porgy and Bess” in Tel Aviv as originally scheduled — despite the urging of Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu — will not slow down the international effort to delegitimize Israel.

Jewish community “spitting blood” over Archbishop Tutu’s Israel boycott comments.

Discovering Felix’s Forgotten Sister

The work of pianist/composer Fanny Mendelssohn is just now being appreciated.

10/26/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

She seemingly had everything going for her. She was a terrifically gifted pianist and composer. She came from a wealthy family. Her father had taken the precaution of converting the children from Judaism. There was only one small problem.

Fanny Mendelssohn was born 150 years too soon to gain recognition as a pianist and composer.

“Fanny’s sphere was semi-public, and yet semi-private,” her biographer says.

The Jewish Heart Of A Song Festival

From Gershwin and Sondheim to Dylan, a song for everyone

10/19/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

The New York Festival of Song seems at first glance a slight misnomer. “Festival” suggests a short, sharp blast of events in a concentrated period of time. But NYFOS, now in its 23rd year, schedules events all year ‘round.

Festival co-founder and artistic directorr Steven Blier

‘Have A Good Laugh, Refresh Your Memory’

10/12/2010

His work spans the history of entertainment in modern America. Fyvush Finkel, one of the last performers from the heyday of the Yiddish theater, opens this weekend at the Folksbiene in “Fyvush Finkel Live!,” a nostalgic recap of his illustrious career on both stage and screen. Finkel, who turned 88 last weekend, will be joined by his two sons, pianist Elliot and xylophonist virtuoso Ian, along with veteran performers Merwyn Goldsmith and June Gable, in a revue that showcases the talents of one of the country’s most versatile and durable Jewish performers.

Fyvush Finkel, 88, stars in a revue about his life in Jewish theater.

For Blacks And Jews, A Musical Gray Area

Collection featuring black musicians singing Jewish songs masks a complicated cultural relationship.

10/12/2010
Staff Writer

In 1958, when Johnny Mathis was recording an album of African-American spirituals in homage to his black mother, he included a seemingly odd song: “Kol Nidre,” the centerpiece of the Yom Kippur service and perhaps the holiest of all Jewish prayers.

“Kol Nidre,” said Johnny Mathis, who recorded the prayer on a 1958 album, “is just a big, big emotional outpouring.”

Her Grandma’s Back Pages

Singer-songwriter Clare Burson confronts the ‘rupture’ in her family’s life with ‘Silver and Ash.’

09/15/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Singer-songwriter Clare Burson confronts the ‘rupture’ in her family’s life with ‘Silver and Ash.’

Clair Burson's “Silver and Ash,” is based on her grandmother’s experience escaping Nazi Germany.

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

Generations Of Yiddish Song

Adrienne Cooper’s new projects span the years,
with collaborators old and new.

07/27/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

Fifty years ago, Yiddish was generally considered a dying language or one that was already dead if still upright. The Shoah and the Gulag had taken a dreadful toll on Yiddish speakers, readers and writers. Isaac Bashevis Singer was much feted as the last of his tribe (although the brilliant poet Abraham Sutzkever would live until 2009), and Yiddish-based musical forms were considered museum pieces.

Adrienne Cooper performs next week at Damrosch Park as part of the “Music for a Better World” show.

Klezmer's 'Woody Guthrie' Celebrated

German Goldenshteyn Memorial Orchestra performs the famed clarinetist's best work.

07/20/2010
Special To The Jewish Week

The late jazz writer Gene Lees frequently remarked that jazz musicians tended to speak the way they played.

The same seems to have been true of German Goldenshteyn, the great klezmer clarinetist and a man who was a veritable human archive of the rich musical heritage of Bessarabia. Goldenshteyn, who died in 2006, was a Yiddish speaker whose inflections had a lilting, melodic rise and fall and a rhythmic precision not unlike his solos.

German Goldenshteyn

Copland’s Journey From Brooklyn To The Prairie

Composer’s little-performed opera ‘The Tender Land’ gets a new life at Glimmerglass.

07/06/2010
Managing Editor

Aaron Copland grew up in the cramped quarters of Brooklyn, the child of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, but in his music he lit out for the territory. The architecture of city life — Deco skyscrapers and imposing Beaux-Arts museums — defined his early life, but in his music he sought sanctuary in the prairie.

In “The Tender Land,” Aaron Copland was influenced by Walker Evans’ photographs of the American South.
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