Author Topic: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)  (Read 31694 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #40 on: July 19, 2017, 12:25:43 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.
Am glad you enjoyed them.  :)
"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 #41 on: July 19, 2017, 12:38:38 PM »
Am glad you enjoyed them.  :)
+1 - especially the Second, such a remarkable and colorful work (also in comparison with the somewhat dry and academic tone of Ben-Haim's later compositions, that I heard on the radio while driving in Israel during the last years).
… 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

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2019, 04:37:58 AM »
Something came on the car radio yesterday which I immediately recognised as 'my kind of music'. I couldn't place it at all (Bartok came to mind as a possibility) but had to listen to the end to hear the announcement. Somehow I missed that as well ::). Anyway a check of the BBC Radio 3 Schedules page identified it as Paul Ben-Haim's 'Yizkor' (Evocation) for Violin and Orchesra. I should have recognised the soulful 'Bloch-like' quality to the music. It's on You Tube if you want to hear it. It's from this new release:
« Last Edit: April 10, 2019, 04:41:05 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).

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #43 on: April 11, 2019, 02:19:25 PM »
Something came on the car radio yesterday which I immediately recognised as 'my kind of music'. I couldn't place it at all (Bartok came to mind as a possibility) but had to listen to the end to hear the announcement. Somehow I missed that as well ::). Anyway a check of the BBC Radio 3 Schedules page identified it as Paul Ben-Haim's 'Yizkor' (Evocation) for Violin and Orchesra. I should have recognised the soulful 'Bloch-like' quality to the music. It's on You Tube if you want to hear it. It's from this new release:


I know his two symphonies (both grandiose) and the String Quintet. All of that was great, so this will be to my liking (I hope so). Thank you for the suggestion. I saw somewhere it's like the Jewish counterpart to VW's The Lark Ascending.

Also, I found this on YouTube:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/UT6p3LDbLT4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/UT6p3LDbLT4</a>

It's an oratorio, which I didn't know so far. Maybe it might be of the interest of you and others.

Offline JBS

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #44 on: April 11, 2019, 05:34:20 PM »
I know his two symphonies (both grandiose) and the String Quintet. All of that was great, so this will be to my liking (I hope so). Thank you for the suggestion. I saw somewhere it's like the Jewish counterpart to VW's The Lark Ascending.

Also, I found this on YouTube:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/UT6p3LDbLT4" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/UT6p3LDbLT4</a>

It's an oratorio, which I didn't know so far. Maybe it might be of the interest of you and others.
I have Joram on CD.  I would suggest it only to those that like grandiose late Romantic choral works with large forces and great schmaltz.  Think Gurre lieder on steroids.  It's the only Ben Haim work I have heard that I do not like, and I think  it's not really typical of his output

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2019, 05:58:38 PM »
I have Joram on CD.  I would suggest it only to those that like grandiose late Romantic choral works with large forces and great schmaltz.  Think Gurre lieder on steroids.  It's the only Ben Haim work I have heard that I do not like, and I think  it's not really typical of his output

I hadn't realized it is on CD, I thought it was a radio recording or something like that. Your description piqued my interest. I have weakness for works with big forces!

Offline Daverz

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2019, 06:00:58 PM »
Something came on the car radio yesterday which I immediately recognised as 'my kind of music'. I couldn't place it at all (Bartok came to mind as a possibility) but had to listen to the end to hear the announcement. Somehow I missed that as well ::). Anyway a check of the BBC Radio 3 Schedules page identified it as Paul Ben-Haim's 'Yizkor' (Evocation) for Violin and Orchesra. I should have recognised the soulful 'Bloch-like' quality to the music. It's on You Tube if you want to hear it. It's from this new release:


Listening now on Qobuz.  Gorgeous.  I haven't gotten to the Violin Concerto yet.  I have the Perlman CD with the Violin Concerto, but don't recall too much about it.

...Listened to this recording of the Violin Concerto and then the Perlman.  I find Perlman a lot more exciting here.  The sonics are not as good as Bis, but are OK (it's a live recording).
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 07:41:48 PM by Daverz »

Offline JBS

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2019, 06:10:18 PM »
I hadn't realized it is on CD, I thought it was a radio recording or something like that. Your description piqued my interest. I have weakness for works with big forces!

Here it is



I hope you like it better than I did.

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2019, 09:31:55 PM »
Listening now on Qobuz.  Gorgeous.  I haven't gotten to the Violin Concerto yet.  I have the Perlman CD with the Violin Concerto, but don't recall too much about it.

...Listened to this recording of the Violin Concerto and then the Perlman.  I find Perlman a lot more exciting here.  The sonics are not as good as Bis, but are OK (it's a live recording).
Am delighted that you like it and that it's of interest to Cesar as well. It could be one of my discs of the year. I find the ending of 'Yizkor' to be very poignant but really liked the whole work. I enjoyed every work on the CD although, to be honest, I found the short solo violin works a bit screechy. The last track on the CD is very catchy and I played it four times in a row in the car yesterday. I like the Violin Concerto and the rather soulful, Bloch-like works for violin and piano but 'Yizkor' was the big discovery for me. I was lucky to just turn on the car radio whilst it was being broadcast when we were driving home from a couple of days away. Luckily I turned on during a quiet lyrical passage so was able to insist that we listened until the end of the work ( ::)) although I still managed to miss the name of the composer. I do have 'Joram' on CD but don't think that it made much of an impression on me but should listen again. Of that type of work Bloch's 'Sacred Service' is by far my favourite. Anyway I'm delighted with the new Ben-Haim CD and am tempted to describe him as 'undeservedly neglected' but maybe let's not go there  8). At least the BBC broadcast this fine work and I wonder if his music is performed much in Israel. Ben-Haim's difficult personal history  (he had to flee from Germany where he had achieved considerable success as a musician during the years of the Weimar Republic) makes interesting reading. A big recommendation from me for his two symphonies if you don't know them (CPO).

PS the final work that I was enthusing about above is a version for violin and orchestra, made by the violinist's father, of the piano work 'Toccata' by Ben-Haim. Here is the original piano version which is fun:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb6qaioPTZQ
« Last Edit: April 11, 2019, 10:20:32 PM 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).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #49 on: July 23, 2019, 10:16:32 PM »
It was so great to hear Paul Ben-Haim's Symphony No.1 at the Proms in London last night. It made such a difference hearing it live. I was with my brother who had not heard any Ben-Haim's before and who really enjoyed it 'he keeps the tension going' my brother also said that he was reminded of Shostakovich and Moeran at times. I really like the way in which Ben-Haim's (Frankenburger) fuses the European symphonic tradition with Middle-Eastern-type harmonies creating a very engaging and often exciting synthesis. The 'Hymn' slow movement was especially eloquent. This was performed by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by (Proms debut) their energetic conductor Omer Meir Wellber. I may never get the chance to hear one of the Ben-Haim symphonies live again and I'm so glad that I went. Actually I enjoyed the whole concert, even Mozart's Piano Concerto 15 played by Yeol Eum Son, Schumann's 4th Symphony and Schoenberg's Five Orchestral Pieces, but it is the Ben-Haim which stands out for me. The concert was being filmed by the BBC and I gather that it will be on TV (UK) on Friday if anyone wants to watch the broadcast.
"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).

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #50 on: July 24, 2019, 02:40:20 PM »
Very nice Jeffrey! Ben-Haim's symphonies were a great discovery thanks to both you and Christo. That concert would have been of my real interest if I had been to there. What other concerts with interesting (I mean, rarely played) pieces are there at The Proms?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #51 on: July 24, 2019, 08:50:13 PM »
Very nice Jeffrey! Ben-Haim's symphonies were a great discovery thanks to both you and Christo. That concert would have been of my real interest if I had been to there. What other concerts with interesting (I mean, rarely played) pieces are there at The Proms?
Thanks Cesar. The other one I'm going to includes Dorothy Howell's 'Lamia' and Moisei Weinberg's Third Symphony (in August). The other concert that interests me includes the original version of Sibelius's 5th Symphony which I like very much. I'll look at the programme later to have a proper look at what's coming up.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2019, 08:52:58 PM 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).

Offline Christo

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2019, 01:07:57 PM »
It was so great to hear Paul Ben-Haim's Symphony No.1 at the Proms in London last night. It made such a difference hearing it live. I was with my brother who had not heard any Ben-Haim's before and who really enjoyed it 'he keeps the tension going' my brother also said that he was reminded of Shostakovich and Moeran at times. I really like the way in which Ben-Haim's (Frankenburger) fuses the European symphonic tradition with Middle-Eastern-type harmonies creating a very engaging and often exciting synthesis. The 'Hymn' slow movement was especially eloquent. This was performed by the BBC Philharmonic conducted by (Proms debut) their energetic conductor Omer Meir Wellber. I may never get the chance to hear one of the Ben-Haim symphonies live again and I'm so glad that I went. Actually I enjoyed the whole concert, even Mozart's Piano Concerto 15 played by Yeol Eum Son, Schumann's 4th Symphony and Schoenberg's Five Orchestral Pieces, but it is the Ben-Haim which stands out for me. The concert was being filmed by the BBC and I gather that it will be on TV (UK) on Friday if anyone wants to watch the broadcast.
Quite an event, great to hear about it (here in Istria,  far from Paul Ben-Haim's world, though I often heard his music on the car radio, while driving in Israël and Palestine, every Summer, during the last five years).
… 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

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2019, 09:34:06 PM »
 >:(
Quite an event, great to hear about it (here in Istria,  far from Paul Ben-Haim's world, though I often heard his music on the car radio, while driving in Israël and Palestine, every Summer, during the last five years).
Interesting to know. The Ben Haim was well reviewed in The Times yesterday. Maybe they'll perform Symphony No.2 one day. We (my brother and I) sat next to a couple from Birmingham who had not been to the Proms before - they really enjoyed the Ben Haim and the whole concert.
"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 vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #54 on: August 02, 2019, 12:07:33 AM »
Copied from the WAYLTN thread:
Ben-Haim: Violin Concerto
Having enjoyed both of his symphonies on CD and No.1 at the Proms recently I thought that I should investigate more of his music. The concise Violin Concerto is very fine indeed. At the start it sounds very 'English' and could be by Warlock or Moeran. It then has a beautiful, soulful, slow movement and a catchy finale containing memorable and moving material. If you like the Barber Violin Concerto this might well appeal to you. There are several recordings:
"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).

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #55 on: August 02, 2019, 04:12:09 PM »
Copied from the WAYLTN thread:
Ben-Haim: Violin Concerto
Having enjoyed both of his symphonies on CD and No.1 at the Proms recently I thought that I should investigate more of his music. The concise Violin Concerto is very fine indeed. At the start it sounds very 'English' and could be by Warlock or Moeran. It then has a beautiful, soulful, slow movement and a catchy finale containing memorable and moving material. If you like the Barber Violin Concerto this might well appeal to you. There are several recordings:


Well worth a hearing!

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #56 on: August 04, 2019, 11:03:37 PM »
I watched the performance of the Ben-Haim Symphony No. 1 on iPlayer the other day (yes, amazingly it was televised). I'm extremely impressed with the work. It's definitely on my radar now.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2019, 12:47:03 AM »
I watched the performance of the Ben-Haim Symphony No. 1 on iPlayer the other day (yes, amazingly it was televised). I'm extremely impressed with the work. It's definitely on my radar now.
I was pleased to see the TV cameras there and watched the broadcast as well. Here is a CD of the symphony:
"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).

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #58 on: August 05, 2019, 01:21:36 PM »
Both symphonies are splendid. I have a slight lean towards the 2nd, though.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2020, 01:54:56 PM »
Been listening to the CD of chamber music on Chandos again, with much pleasure. Thought it worth posting (again) the link to the soulful 'Canzonetta' from 'Five Pieces for Piano'. Ideal late night listening:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LcMaWvCl9GQ


"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).