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

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Offline vandermolen

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Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« on: September 06, 2011, 02:05:45 PM »
I didn't know much about this composer except the lyrical 'Sweet Psalmist of Israel' coupled with Bloch's 'Sacred Service' (Bernstein) on an old Sony double CD set - but I just bought a great new CPO CD with his Symphony No 1 (1940). Ben Haim was born Paul Frankenburger in Munich and fled when the Nazis took over ( he'd briefly been Bruno Walter's assistant at the Munich Opera) and settled in Palestine, changing his name.

The Symphony No 1 is unsurprisingly troubled and stormy - rather moving in its historical context. It is a little like Mahler meets Bloch, Respighi and Miklos Rozsa.  The other works on the CD are excellent too.  I thought that the 'Fanfare to Israel' did not sound promising, but it features a very moving, redemptive hymn which I found very affecting.  Here it is on You Tube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95CEdr2bq2g

The 'Symphonic Metamorphoses on Bach Chorale' also features some eloquent lyrical sequences.  Altogether an excellent CD.
"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 Dundonnell

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 02:08:22 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation, Jeffrey.

I was wondering whether to get this disc :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 02:14:27 PM »
Thanks for the recommendation, Jeffrey.

I was wondering whether to get this disc :)

I think you'd like it Colin - I keep wanting to play it - which is a good sign I think!  All three works are appealing and I can play the CD right through with much pleasure.  The Fanfare was the biggest surprise - I was expecting something like 'Fanfare for the Common Man', but this is much more reflective and I found it deeply moving.
"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).

cilgwyn

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2011, 06:57:41 AM »
Fanfare for the Common Man? That's by Pans People,isn't it?!!!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 01:26:19 AM »
Just discovered Ben Haim's Symphony No 2.  Reminds me a bit of a Bloch/Rozsa/Vaughan Williams synthesis - very enjoyable.

Glad my Ben Haim thread has been a Roman Triumph  ;D
"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).

DieNacht

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 02:11:22 AM »
a nice early piano sonata and a violin concerto too ...

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2012, 02:52:25 AM »
a nice early piano sonata and a violin concerto too ...

Thanks - will look out for 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).

DieNacht

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2012, 03:12:06 AM »
My recording of the piano sonata is an old mono LP with Pressler. I already have a simple mp3 transfer, in case you don´t find it otherwise.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2012, 03:13:53 AM »
My recording of the piano sonata is an old mono LP with Pressler. I already have a simple mp3 transfer, in case you don´t find it otherwise.

Many thanks - kind of you.
"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 carlos

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2012, 03:17:46 AM »
He had a short very beautiful and effective solo violin sonata. I've it by no less than Francescatti (!) A curiosity than a French catholic choose a Jewish folk work to play, and a fantastic play it was.
Piantale a la leche hermano, que eso arruina el corazón! (from a tango's letter)

Offline Christo

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2012, 04:49:55 AM »
Just discovered Ben Haim's Symphony No 2.  Reminds me a bit of a Bloch/Rozsa/Vaughan Williams synthesis - very enjoyable. Glad my Ben Haim thread has been a Roman Triumph  ;D

The Second was the one that I taped around 1978, and liked a lot - but didn't hear since then. You're not referring to a recent cd release, are you?  :-\
… 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

snyprrr

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2012, 05:50:48 AM »
He had a short very beautiful and effective solo violin sonata. I've it by no less than Francescatti (!) A curiosity than a French catholic choose a Jewish folk work to play, and a fantastic play it was.

I have the Solo Violin Sonata on the Hyperion release of Bloch's Violin Music. It has a nice 'sotto voce' slow movement. There's also a String Quartet I haven't heard.

Offline carlos

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2012, 06:07:21 AM »
Don't have that record, but Shahan is a fantastic violinist. He had complete Hubay's "Scenes de la Czarda" and other pieces on a double that's a real gem.
Piantale a la leche hermano, que eso arruina el corazón! (from a tango's letter)

Offline Gurn Blanston

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #13 on: June 06, 2012, 06:31:34 AM »
I have the Solo Violin Sonata on the Hyperion release of Bloch's Violin Music. It has a nice 'sotto voce' slow movement. There's also a String Quartet I haven't heard.

This is that disk, Carlos;



IIRC, I was the one who rec'd it to Snips, although that was for the Bloch (still stand by that!). Good disk.

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snyprrr

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #14 on: June 06, 2012, 04:30:08 PM »
This is that disk, Carlos;



IIRC, I was the one who rec'd it to Snips, although that was for the Bloch (still stand by that!). Good disk.

8)

Just revisited the three Ben'Haim tracks. The 'sotto voce' part still sticks out like a beautiful sore thumb: he really plays that dynamic well!  I still don't see these pieces much divorced from this particular album. They HAVE to be HERE on THIS album alone!, especially after the two Bloch Solo Violin Suites. Some Composers were just meant to be prime 'filler'.

Thanks again G.!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #15 on: June 07, 2012, 03:14:30 AM »
The Second was the one that I taped around 1978, and liked a lot - but didn't hear since then. You're not referring to a recent cd release, are you?  :-\

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.
"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 #16 on: May 27, 2014, 08:50:21 AM »
Rather tempted by this well reviewed disc:

"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 #17 on: May 27, 2014, 05:42:54 PM »
Rather tempted by this well reviewed disc:


well, it is not as if there is a plethora of recordings to pick from, so yes, get it.  But I was more impressed by the disc of string quartets and allied music Toccata released a few months ago, so I would say get that first.

Offline The new erato

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2014, 08:14:27 PM »
well, it is not as if there is a plethora of recordings to pick from, so yes, get it.  But I was more impressed by the disc of string quartets and allied music Toccata released a few months ago, so I would say get that first.
I strongly second that (in fact I think I said the same thing in the listening thread).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Paul Ben Haim (1897-1984)
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2014, 09:38:04 PM »
Thanks very much for the Toccata recommendations. I had already ordered the Chandos before I read the posts so will see how I get on with that and order the Toccata CD at a later date.
"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).