The Arty Semite

Celebrating Purim Early with Delectable Concerts

By Benjamin Ivry

  • Print
  • Share Share

New York music lovers need hardly wait for Purim to feel the springtime party mood. From February 3rd to 6th, a City Center Encores! production of Kurt Weill’s 1949 musical “Lost in the Stars” can be seen in New York. A prescient argument against South African apartheid, Weill composed his score after studying Zulu music, which infused his music with what he called a “Biblical tone that we hope the public will like.”

A different kind of spirituality can be heard in “Rothko Chapel” by modern American Jewish composer Morton Feldman, performed at Alice Tully Hall on February 24 by Jeffrey Milarsky’s Axiom chamber ensemble. Composer Dániel Biró has aptly pointed to Feldman and the painter Mark Rothko, apart from being friends, sharing European Jewish heritage, a need for abstraction, and a will to “discover the mystery of perception within art.” Also performed at the same concert will be works by the great Hungarian Jewish modernist György Kurtág.

More traditional-sounding but no less majestic is the Concerto Grosso No. 1 by Swiss Jewish composer Ernest Bloch, played on February 28th by the Yale Philharmonia at Zankel Hall, led by Shinik Hahm. The multi-talented Bloch is currently being honored with an exhibit of his photographs at the Oregon Jewish Museum, “Ernest Bloch — Framing a Vision of the World” which opened January 12th and runs until May 8th.

More Weill is on the menu from March 3rd to 5th, when the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performs the master’s songs at the Rose Theater with the characterful singer Ute Lemper. The Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Levine arrives at Carnegie Hall on March 16 for a concert featuring Arnold Schoenberg’s sensitive 1928 Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31and ruggedly spiky 1942 Piano Concerto, Op. 42, with the mighty soloist and Schoenberg maven Maurizio Pollini. The next day, March 17, the BSO and Levine perform Mahler’s cataclysmic Ninth Symphony. On the same busy March 17th (and again on March 20th) at the Rose Theater, the Martha Graham Dance Company will perform the ballet version of American Jewish composer Aaron Copland’s beloved achievement in Americana, “Appalachian Spring.”

And from March 17th to 20th, fans of spiffy musical comedy will delight in the City Center Encores! Great American Musicals in Concert performances of “Where’s Charley?,” Frank Loesser’s musical version of the 1892 British transvestite farce “Charley’s Aunt.” Wear your Purim costume early!

Listen to part of the Schoenberg Piano Concerto played by Glenn Gould.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.