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!
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • 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.