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Milken Archive - Sacred Services From Israel


Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559452   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Paul Ben-HaimMarc LavryYehezkel Braun
Performer:  Meir FinkelsteinRaphael FriederMatthew Kirchner
Conductor:  Avner ItaiYoel LeviGerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  SpectrumBBC SingersBerlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 14 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

“Their music is southern, suffused with brilliant light, like the air of the Mediterranean lands, translucent, striving for clarity—”
This description of the “Mediterranean style” in music comes from the eminent critic Max Brod, and it applies to varying degrees to the three sacred services featured here by Israeli composers Paul Ben-Haim, Marc Lavry, and Yehezkel Braun. The popularity of their music owes much to the novelty of exotic sounds, idioms, and reflections of the land of Israel and of the wider Jewish orient, all finely crafted in the beloved forms of the Western classical tradition. This is spiritual music that easily transports the heart and senses to the Holy Land. All three services were commissioned and premiered in
Read more the United States.

"Paul Ben-Haim's Kabbalat Shabbat blends grave and hearty narratives with folksy writing of tender appeal. The chants and cantorial lines in Marc Lavry's Sabbath Eve Sacred Service possess a romantic warmth and fervour that verge on the Mahlerian. In ways both rhythmic and harmonic, Yehezkel Braun's Hallel Service is the most adventurous of the three, with tricky metrical changes and contrasting atmospheres that vividly depict the passions in the texts...superb choral singing... There's no shortage of spiritual or artistic commitment, and the copious programme-notes are excellent." — Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone (Dec. 2006)

“The music [of Ellstein’s The Golem]...portrays complex character and conflict within character. I’d love to hear the whole thing... The scoring [of Strassburg’s Chelm] is spare, clean, and bright as new paint...All the ensembles are tight and dramatic...” — Steve Schwartz, ClassicalCDReview.com (June 2005)

“…a dramatic, complex and dissonant work...The orchestration is brilliant, and without actually seeing the score, I can observe that singers and instrumentalists alike gave a superior account of this dramatic score... The vocal lines along with the vivid orchestration faithfully reflect the drama as well as the spirit of the text... It is a work of substance and stature... The University of Michigan orchestra was superbly led by its conductor, Kenneth Kiesler... The arrangement [of Robert Strasbourg’s Chelm]…is nothing less than brilliant... The style of the music in Chelm is clever as well as being melodic...The soloists…sang beautifully.” — Morton Gold, Jewish Post and Opinion (Indianapolis, Indiana)

“Strassburg ably manipulates simple, catchy folk tunes to reveal depths of character. The golem’s advances on the Rabbi’s daughter and subsequent confrontation with the Rabbi provide the most lushly operatic and musically inventive music on this recording, hinting at what could be a thrilling theatrical experience in toto. Both symphony orchestras perform with sweep and enthusiasm... Special mention must go to the chamber players of Chelm, who, in an orchestration reconstructed expressly for this recording, capture the silliness of the famously puddingheaded town residents in their jaunty rendering.” — Joanne Sydney Lessner, Opera News

“The excerpts presented here give us a pretty good feeling for the operatic ambitions of these three composers. Ellstein’s music is of a modern idiom, though at moments it turns Romantic in vein. The vocal parts are declamatory and fluid in style, following the text more by inflection than by anything resembling conventional melody or formal aria. Soloists are all singers of fine voice and well trained. Strassburg’s music is as delightful as the libretto. There is a sincere, if naïve, innocence to the score that is a bit reminiscent of Menotti’s Amahl and the Night Visitors—very touching. Karen Longwell, as Leah, and Matthew Chelis, as David, are both charming, as are Richard Lalli and Carla Wood, as Berel and Khava (the goat). Tamkin’s score seems appropriate to the subject—lots of lush orchestral writing, punctuated by periodic blood-curdling shrieks, hysterical outbursts, and heightened declamatory singing, somewhat reminiscent of Strauss’s Elektra... I really enjoyed this disc, and if the opportunity presented itself, I’d gladly go to see any of these operas staged and complete. As excerpts, they whetted my appetite to hear more, so I’m pleased to note that this is labeled ‘Jewish Operas, Volume 1.’ Recommended.” — Jerry Dubins, Fanfare (Nov/Dec 2004)

Click here to view all available releases in the Milken Archive Series at ArkivMusic.

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Works on This Recording

1. Kabalat shabat: 2nd movement, Lighting of the Sabbath Candles by Paul Ben-Haim
Conductor:  Avner Itai
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectrum,  BBC Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Israel 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
2. Kabalat shabat: 7th movement, Mi khamokha by Paul Ben-Haim
Performer:  Meir Finkelstein (Tenor)
Conductor:  Avner Itai
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectrum,  BBC Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Israel 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London 
Length: 2 Minutes 42 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
3. Kabalat shabat: 9th movement, Hashkivenu by Paul Ben-Haim
Performer:  Meir Finkelstein (Tenor)
Conductor:  Avner Itai
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectrum,  BBC Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Israel 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London 
Length: 4 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
4. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: Prelude by Marc Lavry
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 7 Secs. 
5. Kabalat shabat: 1st movement, Introduction and Chorus by Paul Ben-Haim
Conductor:  Avner Itai
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectrum,  BBC Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Israel 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
6. Kabalat shabat: 15th movement, Concluding Hymn and Benediction "Adon olam" by Paul Ben-Haim
Performer:  Meir Finkelstein (Tenor)
Conductor:  Avner Itai
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectrum,  BBC Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Israel 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
7. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: Mizmor shir by Marc Lavry
Performer:  Raphael Frieder (Baritone)
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 22 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
8. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: Interlude by Marc Lavry
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 16 Secs. 
9. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: L'kha dodi by Marc Lavry
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
10. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: Bar'khu and Sh'ma Yisra'el by Marc Lavry
Performer:  Raphael Frieder (Baritone)
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 21 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
11. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: V'ahavta by Marc Lavry
Performer:  Raphael Frieder (Baritone)
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
12. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: Mi khamokha by Marc Lavry
Performer:  Raphael Frieder (Baritone)
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 28 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
13. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: V'sham'ru by Marc Lavry
Performer:  Raphael Frieder (Baritone)
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 44 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
14. Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: Yism'hu by Marc Lavry
Conductor:  Yoel Levi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1958; Israel 
Date of Recording: 11/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 17 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
15. Hallel Service: 1st movement, Introduction "B'rakha" by Yehezkel Braun
Performer:  Matthew Kirchner (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Israel 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 1 Minutes 46 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
16. Hallel Service: 2nd movement, Hallelujah, O servants by Yehezkel Braun
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Israel 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 9 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
17. Hallel Service: 6th movement, I love the Lord by Yehezkel Braun
Performer:  Matthew Kirchner (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Israel 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
18. Hallel Service: 8th movement, Praise the Lord, all you nations by Yehezkel Braun
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Israel 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 3 Minutes 26 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
19. Hallel Service: 9th movement, Praise the Lord for He is good by Yehezkel Braun
Performer:  Matthew Kirchner (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Israel 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 8 Minutes 14 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
20. Hallel Service: 10th movement, Conclusion by Yehezkel Braun
Performer:  Matthew Kirchner (Tenor)
Conductor:  Gerard Schwarz
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Ernst Senff Choir
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; Israel 
Date of Recording: 12/2000 
Venue:  Jesus-Christus-Kirche, Berlin, Germany 
Length: 5 Minutes 40 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 
21. Kabalat shabat: 3rd movement, Sabbath Hymn "L''kha dodi" by Paul Ben-Haim
Performer:  Meir Finkelstein (Tenor)
Conductor:  Avner Itai
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Spectrum,  BBC Singers
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1966; Israel 
Date of Recording: 02/2000 
Venue:  St. Paul's Church, Knightsbridge, London 
Length: 3 Minutes 45 Secs. 
Language: Hebrew 

Sound Samples

Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday Evening Service): I. Introduction and Chorus: Psalm 98
Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday Evening Service): II. Lighting of the Sabbath Candles
Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday Evening Service): III. Sabbath Hymn, "l'kha dodi"
Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday Evening Service): VII. Mi khamokha
Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday Evening Service): IX. Hashkivenu
Kabbalat Shabbat (Friday Evening Service): XV. Concluding Hymn and Benediction, "Adon olam"
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: Prelude
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: I. Mizmor shir (Tov l'hodot)
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: Ia. Interlude
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: II. L'kha dodi
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: III. Bar'khu - sh'ma yisra'el
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: IV. V'ahavta
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: V. Mi khamokha
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: VI. V'sham'ru
Sabbath Eve Sacred Service: VII. Yism'bu
Hallel Service: I. Preliminary b'rakha
Hallel Service: II. Psalm 113
Hallel Service: VI. Psalm 116:1-11
Hallel Service: VIII. Psalm 117
Hallel Service: IX. Psalm 118
Hallel Service: X. Concluding b'rakha

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