The Arty Semite

Monday Music: Contemporary Concertos Go Baroque

By Eileen Reynolds

Dan Seltzer
Composer Avner Dorman at work.

One might be forgiven, upon first listening to the NAXOS recording of Avner Dorman’s concertos performed by Andrew Cyr’s Metropolis Ensemble, for not feeling immediately convinced that these are, in fact, concertos in any traditional sense. There are no buoyant Mozartian introductions here, no grand orchestral pauses to launch soloists into rapturously virtuosic cadenzas before a triumphant final cadence. Those squeamish about contemporary orchestral music might initially recoil from what is strange and new in Dorman’s work: unsettling harmonies, unusual pairings of instruments, extended instrumental techniques. Ultimately, though, there is plenty here that is familiar. Dorman, a 35-year-old Israeli composer and protégé of John Corigliano and Zubin Mehta, has an eclectic approach — borrowing elements from jazz, pop, and Middle Eastern musical idioms — that makes his music surprisingly accessible.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Zubin Mehta, The Cure, The Police, Music, Nina Simone, Mindy Kaufman, Metropolis Ensemble, Grammy Awards, John Corigliano, Eliran Avni, Eileen Reynolds, Classical Music, Avner Dorman, Avi Avital, Andrew Cyr

Out and About: Israeli Judaica Thieves Nabbed; Rise of the Classical Mandolin

By Ezra Glinter

Grammy nominated mandolinist Avi Avital

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Zackary Sholem Berger, Tuviah Friedman, True Grit, Thomas Ades, Schneerson Library, Out and About, Other Israel Film Festival, New World Symphony, Moyshe Nadir, Milan, Michael Tilson Thomas, Maus, Judaica, Joel Coen, Grammy Awards, Frank Gehry, Ethan Coen, Emanuel Vardi, Eleven Eleven, Dvoyre Fogel, Coen Brothers, Avi Avital, Art Spiegelman, Angouleme International Comics Festival

'Tis the Season to Be Classical: Unmissable December Concerts

By Benjamin Ivry

While Hanukkah preparations and aftermath can overshadow every other human activity in December, ‘tis also the season for classical concerts, especially although by no means exclusively, in the New York area. These can include much Yiddishkayt, despite the seeming omnipresence of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Mahler-lovers will not want to miss the much-loved British conductor Sir Colin Davis leading the New York Philharmonic in performances on December 2, 4, and 7 of Mahler’s orchestral songs, “Des Knaben Wunderhorn” (The Youth’s Magic Horn). Although born in 1927, Sir Colin still conducts with a balletic grace which vivifies everything he interprets.

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Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Ran Dank, Old City String Quartet, New York Philharmonic, New School, Music, Messiah, Martin Fröst, Iván Fischer, Ist Es Whar, Hanukkah, Handel, György Ligeti, Gustav Mahler, Ger Mandolin Orchestra, Felix Mendelssohn, Emanuel Ax, Des Knaben Wunderhorn, Classical Music, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Avi Avital, Schneider Concerts, Shai Wosner, Sir Colin Davis, The Morgan Library and Museum, The Youth's Magic Horn, Vadim Gluzman, Walter Reade Theater




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