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Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music

Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music

lands. The actual song,

lands. The actual song, Benedicho su nombre, alsoalmost certainly postdates the Spanish expulsion asa Ladino song. Levy draws upon these elementsliberally here, with a degree of artistic license forpowerful dramatic and poetic effect rather than forhistorical accuracy.In its original version, Canto de los Marranos wasa commission from the Union of American HebrewCongregations, the lay arm of the American Reformmovement, and it received its premiere in 1977 bysoprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson and the San FranciscoSymphony, conducted by Phillipe Entremont. Despiteglowing reviews and much critical acclaim, Levysubsequently withdrew it. This new version, createdfor the Milken Archive recording, is essentially acomplete rewriting based on the original one.SHIR SHEL MOSHE (Song of Moses)Shir Shel Moshe is Levy’s setting of kabbalat shabbat(welcoming the Sabbath) and Sabbath eve liturgiesas a musically complete, unified service. It wascommissioned by Cantor David Putterman and thePark Avenue Synagogue in New York in 1964. In1943, Putterman had initiated a program in whichhe commissioned new works for the Hebrew liturgyfrom both firmly established and promising youngcomposers—non-Jews as well as Jews. The fruits ofthose commissions received their premieres at thesynagogue’s annual Friday evening Sabbath eveservice of new music, which became one of the mostimportant Jewish cultural events nationally, as well asa significant and eagerly anticipated event on NewYork’s annual cultural calendar. The program lastedmore than thirty years and attracted contributionsby some of the most prominent and soon-to-beprominent American composers.Originally those annual new music services comprisedsettings of individual prayers or liturgical texts byseveral composers. But beginning in 1950, with MarioCastelnuovo-Tedesco’s Sacred Service for the SabbathEve (op. 122), Cantor Putterman commissioned fullservices by single composers on an annual basis. By1964, when Putterman invited Levy to compose thisservice, Levy was already beginning to come to publicattention because of the commission for his operaMourning Becomes Electra. In fact, he initially declinedthe Park Avenue commission because his attention wasalready focused on that work, but typically, Puttermanpersisted and eventually persuaded him to accept,so that ultimately Levy worked on both at the sametime. Perhaps for that reason he later described ShirShel Moshe as “very simple... I didn’t have time to gointo something more complex.” But the composer’sown characterization might be a bit deceptive, ifnot overly humble, since the very simplicity of whichhe speaks lends the work an engaging quality, freeof pretension.In his review of the work after its premiere, ErwinJospe, an experienced composer of synagogue musicand at that time dean of the School of Fine Arts andprofessor of Jewish music at the University of Judaismin Los Angeles, noted:It speaks well for Mr. Levy’s honesty that hewrites in the style in which he ought to, his own.He is not pretending to be somebody other thanhimself when he writes for the synagogue. Thereis nothing assumed, nothing pseudo-Jewish.…He simply approaches his task as a composer ...who uses musical ideas—and he has many—tobuild musical structures. It is cause for rejoicingthat this brilliant young American composer haswritten an impressive work of lasting value forthe contemporary synagogue.8.559427 6Levy_LinerNts Altrntv8_559427.indd 67/28/04 5:24:14 PM

One of the most interesting and inventive movementsis the concluding hymn, adon olam, where a quicklymemorable but original tune is repeated for eachstrophe in a different key over a samba-typerhythm on the organ, almost giving the piece aLatin American flavor.MASADAIn the popular imagination of the 20th and 21stcenturies, the very name Masada has become adramatic, unorthodox, or even ironic symbol forJewish national defiance in the face of overwhelmingenemy military superiority and even inevitable defeat.The most commonly accepted narrative account ofthe national as well as human tragedy believed tohave occurred there in 73 C.E—whether embellishednarrative, accumulated myth, faithful chronicle, or abit of each—has also come to serve as an importantpolitical and historical anchor of collective memoryfor both renewed Jewish national consciousness and,more directly, for the modern State of Israel and itssense of historical continuity and national roots.Masada is an imposing and isolated plateau, toweringabove the Dead Sea and the Dead Sea valley at theedge of the Judean desert, upon which, in antiquity,stood a fortress. It was first fortified by the Jewishhigh priest Jonathan in the 2nd century B.C.E., and itwas later the site of King Herod’s royal palace, citadel,and fortifications, built at the end of the 1st centuryB.C.E. as a refuge and defensive post—in response tothe perceived dual threat from Jewish political rivals inJerusalem and from Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. It hasbeen assumed that a Roman garrison was most likelystationed on Masada from 6 until 66 C.E., when theJewish Wars (66–70/73) began and the initial attackagainst the Romans was launched from there; andwhen, according to the contemporaneous Jewishhistorian Josephus, a band of Zealots (Jewish rebelforces) under Menahem ben Yehuda of Galilee tookit from the Romans. Subsequently, following the fallof Jerusalem in 70 C.E., Masada became the final,doomed fortified outpost of the Sicarii—a radicalfringe sect of Jewish rebels or self-styled resistancefighters who previously had killed 700 Jewish womenand children at En Gedi during a raid for supplies—anda refuge for those who faced capture, including entirefamilies. Whether the Sicarii (sikarikim), with whomthe Masada residents were affiliated at the time ofits fall, were the same group as those identified asthe Zealots (kana’im), as is often loosely assumed, orwhether the two were distinct, perhaps rival extremistsects, is uncertain according to some opinions. Butmost contemporary historians espouse the latter view.After Menahem’s murder in Jerusalem by his rivals,Elazar ben Yair of Galilee became the leader of theMasada-based rebels and residents, and he remainedso until their defeat.Having conquered the two other holdouts—Herodiumand Macherus—the Roman forces laid siege to Masadaand prepared to storm its defenses and permanentlycrush all lingering vestiges of resistance. Prior to themodern usage of the name (metzada), it appearedonly in Greek transcription. It has been suggestedthat it might have been an Aramaic form of the wordmetzad (stronghold).Our only contemporaneous description of Masada’s fallwas furnished by Josephus in a work titled The JewishWars. By the time of the Masada siege, Josephus, whowas previously a commander of the Jewish army inthe Galilee, had already surrendered personally tothe Romans following Vespasian’s conquest of someprincipal Galilean positions. Thereafter, secure on theRoman side, he devoted himself to historical writings,which include a detailed account of the Jewish revoltfrom 66 until its end in 73.7 8.559427Levy_LinerNts Altrntv8_559427.indd 77/28/04 5:24:14 PM

Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - The Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - The Milken Archive of Jewish Music
Download Liner Notes PDF - Milken Archive of Jewish Music