Monday, April 23, 2018

Maria Grinberg: Mendelssohn’s Songs Without Words (1967-8)

Maria Grinberg [1908–1978]: Mendelssohn’s “Songs Without Words” (Lieder ohne Worte) are  short lyrical piano pieces by the Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn, written between 1829 and 1845. Grinberg’s playing was recorded on radio in 1967–8. There is no known archival footage of Grinberg, despite her great musical talent. Grinberg was set aside by the Soviet Union during a good part of her adult years; in 1937, her father and husband were arrested and executed as “enemies of the people” in one of Stalin’s many purges.  After Stalin's death, she was given a little more freedom, in that she was able to travel outside the Soviet Union. For more on Maria Israelevna Grinberg, go [here] and [here] and [here] and [here].

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Jewish Refugees Arrive in Canada After WWII

Photo of the Day

Jewish Refugees from post-war Europe arrive in Canada via Halifax’s Pier 21, circa 1948. These were the fortunate or lucky ones and they show their appreciation in this photo. They had an opportunity to build a better life in Canada, which they undoubtedly did with much gratefulness and gratitude. Between 1946 and 1952, during the post-war period, Canada received about 160,000 displaced persons from Europe, or about 16% of the one million DPs post-1945 who were not repatriated to their native lands.; 20,000 were Jews. If the numbers seem small for a people who suffered so much, it is because there was already a precedent in place. Between 1933 and 1945, for example, Canada accepted only 5,000 Jews from Europe, and even then did so with stringent economic conditions. Canada was a different country then, not as welcoming as it is today, and perhaps not as prosperous; and, yet, they did welcome my father in 1951. He was ever grateful. For more go [here] and [here] and [here] and [here].
Courtesy: The Canadian Jewish News and the Alex Dworkin Canadian Jewish Archives

Daliah Lavi: Erev Shel Shoshanim (1974)

Israeli Poetry/Music

Daliah Lavi [1942–2017] דליה לביא: Erev Shel Shoshanim ערב של שושנים (“Evening of Roses”), a poetic love song often sung or played at weddings. The music is by Yosef Hadar [1926–2006], the lyrics are by Moshe Dor [1932–2016], one of the founding fathers of Israeli poetry. The song was first recorded by Yafa Yarkoni [1925–2012 ] in 1957. Truly, there is a lot of history packed into one song.
Via: Youtube

Friday, April 20, 2018

Leonard Bernstein in Beersheba, Israel

Photo of the Day

Leonard Bernstein [1918–1990] in Beersheba, Israel (also Be’er Sheva; בְּאֵר שֶׁבַע) on November 20, 1948). It was Bernstein’s second visit to the Land in less than two years. During Israel’s War of Independence (1947–49), Bernstein, aged 30, performed all over Israel—forty concerts in sixty days– with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, including here in the midst of the Negev, in Beersheba. Susan Gold writes: “There in the desert, an archaeological dig served as the concert venue, its high walls creating a three-sided amphitheater, and a makeshift stage was constructed. As reported by the South African writer Colin Legum: ‘The well of the amphitheater is alive with chattering soldiers–men and women of the front-line army, Jews from Palestine and the British Commonwealth and U.S., Morocco, Iraq, Afghanistan, China, the Balkans, the Baltic, even one from Lapland." Local residents arrived, and some wounded soldiers were transported by ambulance from the hospital nearby. At 3:30 PM, the concert began. Bernstein played three concerti in a row, not only a bonanza for his listeners, but also a first for him: Mozart’s K. 450 in B flat, Beethoven’s First Piano Concerto, and Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, a most extraordinary and ambitious encore! A violinist supported Bernstein's chair when it began slipping along the precarious platform.’ ” For more go [here] and [here] and [here] and [here].

Spielberg Jewish Film Archive: Hasidic Music (1994)

Hasidic Music (1994) is a film that is part of the Israel Music Heritage Project. The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive, “dedicated to the preservation and research of Jewish documentary films,” holds approximately 16,000 titles: about 4,500 films, over 9,000 videos in various formats and roughly 600 DVDs. A subsection of this is the virtual cinema (that is, available for online viewing), which contains more than 600 films, including this one—dating from 1911 to the present. This wonderful  archive of modern Jewish history is housed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For more, go [here].
Via: The Spielberg Jewish Film Archive