The Arty Semite

The Arty Semite Guide to Winter’s Classical Music Lineup

By Benjamin Ivry

  • Print
  • Share Share
Courtesy of PiusCheung.com

An approaching New Year can be a time of rearrangements and transpositions, as Manhattan classical music lovers in search of Yiddishkeit will discover. From December 1 to 3 at Avery Fisher Hall, Gustav Mahler’s unfinished Symphony No. 10 in its revised Deryck Cooke performing edition will be conducted by Daniel Harding. Harding has recorded this work for Deutsche Grammophon, but some Mahlerians may prefer the version on Brilliant edited and conducted by Russian Jewish maestro Rudolf Barshai.

On December 10, modernism will be on the menu when pianist Peter Serkin plays “Toccata in Three Parts” (1941) by the German Jewish composer Stefan Wolpe at the 92nd Street Y. Wolpe’s Toccata has been limpidly recorded by Serkin on Koch Classics and by pianist David Holzman for Bridge Records.

Returning to rearrangements in the New Year, on January 11 at Symphony Space composer Justin Rubin’s 2009 “Fantasy on Pamina’s Aria ‘Ach, ich fühl’s’” for bassoon and piano will be played by soloist Jefferson Campbell and pianist Tracy Lipke-Perry. Rubin’s gracefully lyrical works have been recorded on the Innova and MSR Classics labels.

On January 15, a perfect storm of musical Yiddishkeit can be experienced at Carnegie Hall when Aaron Copland’s “Clarinet Concerto” is performed by soloist Anthony McGill with The Met Orchestra led by Fabio Luisi, and superstar soprano Renée Fleming sings songs by Mahler and an aria from Bernard Herrmann’s opera “Wuthering Heights.”

The classification of “Holocaust composer” has become less pertinent due to improved knowledge and appreciation of individual Jewish composing talents, and concerts more rarely group musicians together because of the manner of their tragically inadvertent imprisonments and deaths. Still, on January 17 and 21 at the 92nd Street Y, two programs entitled “Will To Create, Will to Live: The Music of Terezín” provide opportunities to hear music by such splendid composers as Gideon Klein and Pavel Haas, among others, now abundantly recorded and celebrated beyond such outwardly imposed historical categories. Performers include London’s Nash Ensemble, baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, and pianist Russell Ryan.

And, finally, for those moving from turkey-induced stupor to the anticipation of musical splendor, on January 18 at the Morgan Library, still another eye-opening arrangement will be heard of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Six Little Piano Pieces” by marimba virtuoso Pius Cheung. To round off this selection, arrange to hear the arrangement of Israeli composer Paul Ben-Haim’s “Three Songs Without Words” for clarinet and harp on February 1 at Carnegie Hall by clarinetist Tibi Cziger and harpist Sivan Magen in a concert by The Israeli Chamber Project. Happy transposed and arranged New Year to all.

Watch Pius Cheung’s mystically elegant performance of his own arrangement of Schoenberg’s “Six Little Piano Pieces.”

Watch clarinetist Martin Fröst perform Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto in 2011.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Wolfgang Holzmair, Tracy Lipke-Perry, Tibi Cziger, Stefan Wolpe, Sivan Magen, Russell Ryan, Renée Fleming, Pius Cheung, Pavel Haas, Peter Serkin, Paul Ben-Haim, Justin Rubin, Jefferson Campbell, Gustav Mahler, David Holzman, Gideon Klein, Deryck Cooke, Bernard Herrmann, Arnold Schoenberg, Aaron Copland

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.