Friday, October 3, 2014

The Jewish Soul - Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco - Maurice Ravel - Rafi Kadishon - Yehezkel Braun - Jerusalem S.O. & Liat Cohen, Guitar

A fine disc from Centaur records featuring the music of Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Ravel, Rafi Kadishon (orchestrations of 3 Israeli songs) and Yehezkel Braun. 

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco's Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra in D major is not unlike Rodrigo's ubiquitous Concierto de Aranjuez. In fact, both were actually composed in the same year, 1938, and both completed interestingly, the following year 1939. Apparently Castelnuovo-Tedesco's concerto was programmed and performed first, by Andrés Segovia (the concerto was written for and dedicated to Segovia). It's almost as popular as Rodrigo's "Concierto..." and it's easy to hear why. It's lush, exciting music and a staple of the repertoire. One can hear Hebraic-style melodies throughout, although in quite the subtle way. With admiration and respect for the Jewish musical heritage, Ravel has harmonized three of its most beautiful and familiar melodies in his "Three Hebraic Melodies" which follows the concerto by C-Tedesco. Next is Rafi Kadishon's orchestrations of 3 Israeli songs,
which frankly is a tad too "cinematic" to my ears, and a rather light affair. Lastly is Yehezkel Braun's
"Fantasia Lyrica" for Guitar and Orchestra, practically a concerto in one movement. It's an upbeat and delightful work, from one of the finest Israeli composers. *Sadly, I only just learned this evening, on Yom Kippur in fact-that Braun passed away this summer, on August 27th. There's a handful of recordings with some of his compositions, but not much. Hopefully his output will be explored with greater focus and his music recorded (Naxos??) more often..which it really deserves. Enjoy.

“Liat Cohen’s clear and firm way with the melody adds immeasurably to the
pleasure. I liked the way she played the Castelnuovo -Tedesco concerto. In the
Andantino she reaches into the depths of the Jewish soul” Classical Guitar
Magazine, London

“Guitarist Liat COHEN performed a highly-praised concert with the Jerusalem
Symphony Orchestra. It's a wonderful exploration into the Jewish music, the
broad abilities of the guitar as a primary instrument & the virtuoso
performance of Liat COHEN." WRR 


Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra in D major
2)Andantino alla romanza 
3)Ritmico e cavalleresco

Maurice Ravel: Three Hebraic Melodies
4)Kaddish (Deux Melodies Hebraiques)
5)Mejerke, main Suhn (Chanson Hebraiques)
6)L'Enigme eternelle (Deux Melodies Hebraiques)

Kadishon: (orch. of 3 Israeli songs)
7)Ani Gitara (I am a guitar) 8)Lo yadati (I did not know what) 9)Yom Yaffe (A nice day)

Yehezkel Braun:
10)Fantasia Lyrica for Guitar and Orchestra


cjvinthechair said...

That's the sort of thing i love to discover - Braun's guitar piece; what chance would an ignorant punter have without on-line experts ?
Much appreciated, thanks !

(Oh, I am definitely a robot !)

Tzadik said...

Hi cjv, I'm happy you are enjoying Yehezkel Braun's Fantasia Lyrica. His work in general makes for great listening. Luckily the guitarist and the composer were friends, and so Braun's work made in on to this disc; perhaps it would have anyhow but their friendship couldn't have hurt! -You know, we are all robots to lesser or greater degrees I'm afraid; it's a question of what country/society we find ourselves in, and to what degree we are aware of this "subtle brainwashing" needs to push back as much as possible ;) I know that's not what you meant but still it's an unfortunate truth..

Tzadik said...

So the fbi doesn't come knocking on my door ha, I will clarify that by "pushing back" I meant not believing the hype, whether it's
commercialism-->capitalism or...other obvious sources ;-)

Anonymous said...

Many thanks!