The Best of Bernstein’s Chamber Works

Date

28.12.2018

Friday 14:00

Hall

Zucker Hall

Venue

Charles R. Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv

Venue

Charles R. Bronfman Auditorium, Tel Aviv

Hall

Zucker Hall

Artists

Keren Hadar, soprano 

Itamar Golan, pianist 

Ilya Konovalov, violinist 

Linor Katz, cellist 

Yevgeny Yehudin, clarinetist 

Concert Program

Sonata for clarinet and piano

La Bonne Cuisine – Four Songs for voice and piano

Trio for violin, cello and piano

from Mass for cello and piano, Meditation No. 1

Simple Song from Mass for voice and piano

I Hate Music! – Seven Songs for voice and piano

Touches – Chorale, Eight Variations and Coda for solo piano

Silhouette (Galilee) for voice and piano

“Dream With Me” – from the musical Peter Pan for voice, cello and piano

Event Info

 Bernstein was primarily a symphonic composer. Like the object of his admiration, Mahler, his chamber works reflect the desire of a mature Bernstein to play with friends.

The works that will be performed on the concert reflect three types of Bernstein’s entire chamber output.

Early works: Bernstein wrote the piano trio when he was still a student at Harvard University in 1937. He later quoted a passage from it in “Fancy Free.” The clarinet sonata was written in 1942 and is Bernstein’s first published work. In these pieces one can identify influences of Copland and Ives, but the works are melodic, dramatic and accessible for the listener.

Arrangements: his cello meditation, which comes from Bernstein’s monumental Mass and was arranged for the inauguration of the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington. Bernstein wrote the meditation at the request of his good friend, cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who performed it many times around the world. The writing for cello in this piece is fantastic, and one can feel its strength and the physical and emotional power that Bernstein demanded from his performers. The piano part faithfully follows the orchestral score.

Songs for voice and piano: the fruit of Bernstein’s great love for chamber music and accompanying singers; this was his way of “participating” in music-making with his own hands (literally). Bernstein was saddened by the fact that his songs that became “hits” on the concert stage were those whose texts were ironic and funny, like “I Hate Music!” and La Bonne Cuisine.

Credits: This text uses passages from Norman Lebrecht’s book “The Maestro,” from the official website of Leonard Bernstein, and from Ms. Alsop’s interview at Carnegie Hall.

Barber’s famous Adagio was played at President Roosevelt’s funeral and later at events around the 9/11 Memorial. In Israel, the “Angus Dei” movement of Bach’s Mass accompanied the television broadcasts after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, now engraved in the memories of many. Bernstein himself conducted an emotional rendition of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony after the fall of the Berlin Wall. This is music that connects to history. The Kaddish Symphony found a similar fate. Bernstein composed the work—music and text—in 1963 and was in the final stages of editing when he learned of the assassination of President Kennedy in Texas. He decided to dedicate the symphony “to the beloved memory of John F. Kennedy.” Influential in Bernstein’s decision was the text of the Kaddish prayer sung in the work. It, as is well known, bears no mention of death, but instead references the word “life” and gives “praise” to the Almighty. To these, Bernstein added his own texts. Over the years he rewrote the text into an argument, sung and spoken between man and God, reflections on faith, doubt and morality.

Price Range

120 nis

Duration

approx 90 minutes including intermission

Duration

approx 90 minutes including intermission

Price range

120 nis

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