Jewish Composers

Started by San Antone, October 01, 2015, 05:55:13 AM

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San Antone

There is a thread for Jewish American Composers - but the composer I wished to spotlight today is not American, and I thought there should be a general thread for Jewish composers since there are many from other countries besides the US.

Such as ...

Ödön Pártos : Israeli composer, string player and teacher of Hungarian origin



Partos arrived in Palestine steeped in contemporary European traditions, particularly those of Bartók and Kodály. From them he had come to see folk music as a source of inspiration and to develop his personal style by enlarging Western tonality through a mixture of modal, oriental and chromatic elements; the best example of his work under their influence is the Concertino for strings (1932).

In 1960 there came a change with Partos's turning towards 12-note technique; this is best exemplified in Tehillim ('Psalms') for string quartet or chamber orchestra and Dmuyot ('Images') for orchestra, both of which date from that year. It is important to stress, however, that his use of 12-note principles was never strict: fragments of three to six notes from the series were often cast as motifs or melodic cells and certain notes were also duplicated at the octave, thus implying a tonal hierarchy.

The complete text and audio examples can be found here.

Jay F

Does Gustav count? I think of him as Jewish, even though he converted.

San Antone

Quote from: Jay F on October 01, 2015, 07:48:13 AM
Does Gustav count? I think of him as Jewish, even though he converted.

Of course.

:)

Mandryka

#3
Schoenberg of course. And Feldman and Reich and Ligeti and Kurtag. 
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

San Antone

Quote from: Mandryka on October 01, 2015, 09:28:06 AM
Schoenberg of course. And Feldman and Reich and Ligeti and Kurtag.

Yes.  There are a number of 20th century composers whose Jewish identity may not be widely known.  For example:

Alfred Schnittke
György Ligeti
György Kurtág

vandermolen

I like this CD very much:
[asin]B005H8APRI[/asin]
I also like much of the music by Bloch and Finzi, also the Symphony by Arthur Benjamin. Others include Rudolf Simonsen a Danish/Jewish composer whose 'Zion' and 'Hellas' symphonies I enjoy very much. Weinberg also, especially Symphony 5 and the Piano Quintet.
"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).

San Antone

Quote from: vandermolen on October 01, 2015, 11:48:42 AM
I like this CD very much:
[asin]B005H8APRI[/asin]
I also like much of the music by Bloch and Finzi, also the Symphony by Arthur Benjamin. Others include Rudolf Simonsen a Danish/Jewish composer whose 'Zion' and 'Hellas' symphonies I enjoy very much. Weinberg also, especially Symphony 5 and the Piano Quintet.

Thanks.  I only just discovered that Finzi was Jewish and recently posted something about him on the anniversary of his death, 9/27.

I will listen to some music by Rudolf Simonsen since his name is new to me.

vandermolen

#7
Quote from: sanantonio on October 01, 2015, 12:10:45 PM
Thanks.  I only just discovered that Finzi was Jewish and recently posted something about him on the anniversary of his death, 9/27.

I will listen to some music by Rudolf Simonsen since his name is new to me.
This is a great CD which you are likely to enjoy.
[asin]B001RX3KPG[/asin]
Years ago there was a book and a film called 'The Garden of the Finzi-Continis' about an Italian Jewish family caught up in the Fascist era in Italy. I think that Finzi was related to that family. His Judaism is a surprise to many listeners I think.
"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).

Wanderer

Also, Alkan, Korngold, Zemlinsky and Schreker.

San Antone

Quote from: vandermolen on October 01, 2015, 01:27:08 PM
This is a great CD which you are likely to enjoy.
[asin]B001RX3KPG[/asin]
Years ago there was a book and a film called 'The Garden of the Finzi-Continis' about an Italian Jewish family caught up in the Fascist era in Italy. I think that Finzi was related to that family. His Judaism is a surprise to many listeners I think.

I remember the film.  Thanks for the recommendation.

Scion7

Religious conversion does not end one being a Jew, only "Jewish."  There are many Christian Jews. And atheist Jews, for that matter.  Now, Jews who follow orthodox Judaism consider a converted Jew to no longer be one, but that's a doctrine, not the scientific definition of ethnicity/nationality.

So Mahler, Mendelssohn, etc., are still Jews.

The contribution of Jewish composers has been pretty amazing to the genre.
(Bruckner's) is the career of a poor village boy ... The one and only really surprising thing about him was that after completing his career as an organist he suddenly began to compose music with a range of vision which in such a man would appear quite incongruous.

Wieland

#11
Ernest Bloch is one of my favourite jewish composers, he still is not recognized as much as he should. His five string quartets are a major achievement and are still awaiting a top-notch recording in modern sound. I hope the Swiss Galatea Q will do it, since their recording of some other quartet music is wonderful.
And his symphony c-sharp minor is one of my dearest "genial first attempt" of a young composer. If you don't know it you have to check it out, especially if you are drawn to Mahler, Rott etc.

[asin]B00E3ISHMI[/asin][asin]B005D4Y450[/asin]

Mandryka

#12
Was Peter Sculthorpe a jew? The reason I ask is that I vaguely remember noticing that he died in a Jewish hospital.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Mandryka

Quote from: Scion7 on October 01, 2015, 06:55:58 PM
Religious conversion does not end one being a Jew, only "Jewish."  There are many Christian Jews. And atheist Jews, for that matter.  Now, Jews who follow orthodox Judaism consider a converted Jew to no longer be one, but that's a doctrine, not the scientific definition of ethnicity/nationality.

So Mahler, Mendelssohn, etc., are still Jews.

The contribution of Jewish composers has been pretty amazing to the genre.

How can you stop being a jew? It's not a DNA thing is it?
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Daverz

Karl Goldmark, son of a cantor, who wrote the Rustic Wedding Symphony and a Violin Concerto that Milstein made famous.

Osvaldo Golijov, an Argentinian composer.  I don't know his music; I'll have to remedy that.

Wieland

We should not forget those Jewish Composers who vanished in the Nazi death camps:

Hans Krasa
Erwin Schulhoff
Pavel Haas
Viktor Ullmann

North Star

Quote from: Wieland on October 02, 2015, 02:27:25 AM
We should not forget those Jewish Composers who vanished in the Nazi death camps:

Hans Krasa
Erwin Schulhoff
Pavel Haas
Viktor Ullmann
And Gideon Klein!!

Władysław Szpilman, famous from the movie The Pianist, was also a composer.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

San Antone

Quote from: Wieland on October 02, 2015, 02:27:25 AM
We should not forget those Jewish Composers who vanished in the Nazi death camps:

Hans Krasa
Erwin Schulhoff
Pavel Haas
Viktor Ullmann

Agreed.  There is this site which is devoted to remembering composers who either perished or were persecuted during the Holocaust. 

Mirror Image

Quote from: Mandryka on October 02, 2015, 12:38:45 AM
Was Peter Sculthorpe a jew? The reason I ask is that I vaguely remember noticing that he died in a Jewish hospital.

If was it would be news to me. Maybe he converted to Judaism? I seriously doubt it --- Sculthorpe wasn't a religious man.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


vandermolen

#19
Quote from: Wieland on October 01, 2015, 10:57:26 PM
Ernest Bloch is one of my favourite jewish composers, he still is not recognized as much as he should. His five string quartets are a major achievement and are still awaiting a top-notch recording in modern sound. I hope the Swiss Galatea Q will do it, since their recording of some other quartet music is wonderful.
And his symphony c-sharp minor is one of my dearest "genial first attempt" of a young composer. If you don't know it you have to check it out, especially if you are drawn to Mahler, Rott etc.

[asin]B00E3ISHMI[/asin][asin]B005D4Y450[/asin]
Me too with Bloch.  :) that early Symphony in C sharp minor has a wonderfully redemptive or doom-laden ending, depending on how you want to look at it. I think that the BIS CD is best but the Naxos and Marco Polo (not the same versions) are excellent too. Schulhoff's 5th Symphony is a terrific score and terribly poignant in view of the circumstances of its creation. If you like Bloch you'll probably enjoy the two Ben-Haim symphonies.
"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).