Author Topic: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)  (Read 31657 times)

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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2014, 05:07:18 PM »
I find him a composer very much in line with my tastes, his First Symphony is wonderful and I've just downloaded his second.

The composer he most reminds me of is Walton.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2014, 09:28:22 PM »
Just finished listening to no.2, even better than no.1, there's so much in it, I'll have to listen to it several more times.

The only reason for posting about it now is to say don't be put off by the reports of shouting in the middle. What happens is that in the slow movement there are there usual bronchial offenders and after the music has stopped someone shouts 'Cover your mouth'. It sounds like a young man, so it might be an orchestral player. But whoever it was waited until after the music stopped to avoid ruining the recording, only the silly sound engineers left it, followed by another ten seconds of rustling, coughing and other audience noises. Naturally you will do what I am just doing, removing these few seconds from the track.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #22 on: May 31, 2014, 08:56:46 AM »
Just finished listening to no.2, even better than no.1, there's so much in it, I'll have to listen to it several more times.

The only reason for posting about it now is to say don't be put off by the reports of shouting in the middle. What happens is that in the slow movement there are there usual bronchial offenders and after the music has stopped someone shouts 'Cover your mouth'. It sounds like a young man, so it might be an orchestral player. But whoever it was waited until after the music stopped to avoid ruining the recording, only the silly sound engineers left it, followed by another ten seconds of rustling, coughing and other audience noises. Naturally you will do what I am just doing, removing these few seconds from the track.

Interesting points and the Walton connection is one that I had not made before, although Bloch came to mind. I have the  'cover you mouth' download of Symphony 2 but mainly listed to an old CD of the work conducted by Kenneth Alwyn. I am inclined to agree that Symphony No. 2 is even better than the very fine No. 1 and hope that CPO will go on to record it. The Chandos CD of the chamber music arrived today and I am currently very much enjoying the rather moving in the circumstances 'Two Landscapes' from 1939. I am glad to have discovered this composer and thanks for the responses.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #23 on: October 05, 2014, 02:09:38 PM »
The Canzonetta from Five Pieces for Piano (1944) is really beautiful and poignant. It is included on the new Chandos CD of Ben Haim's chamber music. I found a fine performance on You Tube:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rUyVvK5nZ1Q
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Daverz

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #24 on: October 05, 2014, 03:10:21 PM »
What happens is that in the slow movement there are there usual bronchial offenders and after the music has stopped someone shouts 'Cover your mouth'.

At least it wasn't "Deutschland über alles, Herr Schuricht"

I haven't quite assimilated Symphony No. 2 yet.   I'll have to give it another listen today.   I can highly recommend the Cpo disc of No. 1.

....listened.  I didn't hear any odd noises on my Stradivari CD (or, rather, my rip of it).  The music is more high profile than Symphony 1.  The sound is quite good, though not up to 21st century digital standards of clarity.

I'll note that Itzak Perlman recorded a Ben-Haim concerto.  Haven't heard it, but went ahead and ordered a copy from Amazon Marketplace. 
« Last Edit: October 05, 2014, 07:13:49 PM by Daverz »

Offline Christo

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #25 on: September 16, 2015, 02:56:06 AM »
No Johan, but I recently downloaded a new performance (Botstein) - an added feature of this live performance is a massive sneeze by a member of the audience during a very quiet passage, followed by someone (Botstein?) shouting 'COVER YOUR MOUTH' very angrily. I have a CD with the RPO performing it, but this is an old one.

Found it on Spotify, with sneeze & angry shout and all  :D (af the end of the third movement). Am enjoying it a lot; it's even better than I remembered it.

BTW, does anyone know how to embed music from Spotify? These are the codes:
https://open.spotify.com/album/0yjphA2xXo4dC6n2Xakpxf
spotify:album:0yjphA2xXo4dC6n2Xakpxf
<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify%3Aalbum%3A0yjphA2xXo4dC6n2Xakpxf" width="300" height="380" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="true"></iframe>
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2017, 06:35:16 AM »
Now you can get Symphony 2 without the sneezing outburst (see above).
New release:


I greatly enjoyed the earlier CPO release featuring Symphony 1:


I like the cover art on both CDs.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 06:39:24 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

kishnevi

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2017, 09:48:59 AM »
Now you can get Symphony 2 without the sneezing outburst (see above).
New release:


I greatly enjoyed the earlier CPO release featuring Symphony 1:


I like the cover art on both CDs.

Have both.  After a first listen, I found I prefer the Concerto Grosso to the Second Symphony, and probably prefer the First Symphony to both.

BTW, the cover art for the First Symphony depicts this
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiddush_levana
As far as I know, BenHaim was not particularly religious, so the image is not really illustrative of the music (other than depicting a group of Jews in Israel).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #28 on: July 13, 2017, 01:25:07 PM »
Have both.  After a first listen, I found I prefer the Concerto Grosso to the Second Symphony, and probably prefer the First Symphony to both.

BTW, the cover art for the First Symphony depicts this
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiddush_levana
As far as I know, BenHaim was not particularly religious, so the image is not really illustrative of the music (other than depicting a group of Jews in Israel).
Thank you Jeffrey. I look forward to hearing the Concerto Grosso. I like the paintings on both CDs which are very atmospheric.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Christo

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #29 on: July 14, 2017, 11:41:19 AM »
Many thanks for the Ben-Haim alert. Found it on Spotify - just arrived in Cyprus - and am playing the Second Symphony now. Ever since I first heard it in 1980, I've been very impressed. It is my favourite Ben-Haim and one of the great symphonies of those extremely troubled years, the 1940s. Find it very moving and recommend it whole-heartedly.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #30 on: July 14, 2017, 11:50:06 AM »
Many thanks for the Ben-Haim alert. Found it on Spotify - just arrived in Cyprus - and am playing the Second Symphony now. Ever since I first heard it in 1980, I've been very impressed. It is my favourite Ben-Haim and one of the great symphonies of those extremely troubled years, the 1940s. Find it very moving and recommend it whole-heartedly.
I remembered that you liked it. I hope to be able to smuggle the CD into the house on Monday. Hope all goes well in Cyprus.
 8)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

kishnevi

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #31 on: July 14, 2017, 04:58:05 PM »
I gave the CPO recording of the Second Symphony/Concerto Grosso a new listen, and found myself liking the symphony more than I did the first time.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #32 on: July 14, 2017, 09:56:47 PM »
I gave the CPO recording of the Second Symphony/Concerto Grosso a new listen, and found myself liking the symphony more than I did the first time.
Good to hear. Looking forward to receiving it.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

kishnevi

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #33 on: July 15, 2017, 09:32:56 AM »
This btw is the full painting used for the cover art, by Boris Borvine Frenkel.


Painter was a Polish Jew who lived most of his adult life in France.  To find him with Google, I needed to use his full name.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #34 on: July 15, 2017, 10:17:00 AM »
This btw is the full painting used for the cover art, by Boris Borvine Frenkel.


Painter was a Polish Jew who lived most of his adult life in France.  To find him with Google, I needed to use his full name.
Thank you Jeffrey. That is really interesting to know. Here is a bit about the artist:
http://www.ecoledeparis.org/artists/view/boris_borvine_frenkel
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Christo

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #35 on: July 15, 2017, 10:18:22 AM »
This btw is the full painting used for the cover art, by Boris Borvine Frenkel.

Painter was a Polish Jew who lived most of his adult life in France.  To find him with Google, I needed to use his full name.

The artwork is fine, of course, but not very apt: the Second especially represents what Ben-Haim and Max Brod had coined the 'Mediterranean style'. Central Europe is as far away as Ben-Haim could get it.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #36 on: July 17, 2017, 10:29:19 PM »
Well, the new CPO Ben-Haim CD is one of my best CD purchased of the year (Symphony 2 and Concerto Grosso). I agree with Christopher that Symphony 2 is probably his greatest works although I like Symphony 1 very much also. The Concerto Grosso is a great new discovery. I have two earlier versions of Symphony 2 (RPO, Kenneth Alwyn) and the Leon Botstein download (complete with sneezing episode) but this new recording is the one you have and the fine Concerto Grosso is unique to this recording.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Christo

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #37 on: July 17, 2017, 11:06:06 PM »
The Concerto Grosso being from 1931, it must have been composed in Germany under his original name of Paul Frankenburger - and indeed it sounds quite distant from the 'Mediterranean' style of the 1945 symphony.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Online vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #38 on: July 17, 2017, 11:50:55 PM »
The Concerto Grosso being from 1931, it must have been composed in Germany under his original name of Paul Frankenburger - and indeed it sounds quite distant from the 'Mediterranean' style of the 1945 symphony.
Yes, I agree - both very enjoyable in different ways.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

SymphonicAddict

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #39 on: July 19, 2017, 12:20:49 PM »
I couldn't ignore so many good commentaries about these symphonies, so I decided played them on Spotify. I was pleasantly surprised, what gratifying works they are! Both of them are valuable, great examples of orchestral handling. The first one is slightly more agressive, the second one is more lyrical, melodically richer. I think my favorite is the 2nd one. I'll try the Concerto grosso some other time.