The Yiddish Cabaret Jerusalem Quartet & Hila Baggio
- Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897 - 1957): Streichquartett No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 26:
- 1Streichquartett No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 26: I. Allegro06:27
- 2Streichquartett No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 26: II. Intermezzo. Allegretto con moto04:01
- 3Streichquartett No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 26: III. Larghetto. Lento07:43
- 4Streichquartett No. 2 in E-Flat Major, Op. 26: IV. Waltz (Finale). Tempo di Valse06:04
- Erwin Schulhoff (1894 - 1942): Five Pieces for String Quartet:
- 5Five Pieces for String Quartet: I. Alla Valse viennese (allegro)01:58
- 6Five Pieces for String Quartet: II. Alla Serenata (allegretto con moto)03:37
- 7Five Pieces for String Quartet: III. Alla Czeca (molto allegro)01:42
- 8Five Pieces for String Quartet: IV. Alla Tango milonga (andante)04:29
- 9Five Pieces for String Quartet: V. Alla Tarantella (prestissimo con fuoco)02:49
- Leonid Desyatnikov (b. 1955): Yiddish:
- 10Yiddish: 1. Varshe03:48
- 11Yiddish: 2. In a hoyz vu men veynt un men lakht05:45
- 12Yiddish: 3. Ikh ganve in der nakht02:31
- 13Yiddish: 4. Yosl un Sore-Dvoshe04:14
- 14Yiddish: 5. Ikh vel shoyn mer nit ganvenen04:36
Info for The Yiddish Cabaret
Starting in June 2018, we are very excited to share a new project, which has been in the works for 2 years. "Yiddish" is an exploration of the rich world of Jewish popular music in Poland between the two world wars, and the substantial influence this music had in Europe, and subsequently in the US after the war. Jewish humor and self-irony is ever present in the songs that made up jewish cabarets such as "Azazel" in Warsaw in the early 20th century. We believe that this was the greatest influence for the what we now associate with Cabaret, namely the Berlin cabaret scene in the 1920s.
With the help of the National library in Jerusalem, which holds a vast archive of jewish music and jewish songs, and the head librarian Gila Flam, who's knowledge of yiddish song is quite amazing, we rummaged through a huge selection of Yiddish songs and after a long process selected five. We then approached Leonid Desyatnikov, who's work we have been following for many years, and were so delighted when he agreed to take these songs and transform them into a new composition for singer and string quartet. To perform these songs, we will team up with Israeli soprano Hila Baggio, who is not only a superb vocalist, but also a wonderful actress and performer. After seeing her in a performance of Schönberg's "Pierot Lunair" we were convinced she was the right person for this project. The songs will be sung in Yiddish.
Together with these five songs we picked Erwin Schulhoff's "Five Pieces for String Quartet" and Erich Korngold's second string quartet. Schulhoff was a jewish composer who thrived in the period between the wars. While his music is undoubtedly serious and full of depth, he incorporates light, humorous and popular musical styles into his music. The Five Pieces are a String Quartet depiction of an evening out at a cabaret, kind of a 1920s suite of dances including a wonky waltz, a Tango, and a Tarantella. We picked this piece to show how the cabaret genre infiltrated "serious" music in the way we find a courante or gigue in Bach's suites or the Menuet in Schubert's. Schulhoff was one of the Jewish composers condemned by the Nazi in the 1930s as degenerate, and was ultimately sent to Theresienstadt and murdered.
Erich Korngold's biography is by now quite known. He was considered the great hope of classical music in Vienna in the early 1900s. A true wunderkind, who seemed able to continue the great arc of viennese composers, he composed sonatas, an opera, and a string quartet while still in his teens. The rise of Fascism, like many others, brought him to Hollywood, where he became the foremost film score composer of his time. His collaboration with fellow immigrants such as Jascha Heifetz, gave us fantastic classical compositions such as his Violin concerto, often heard on concert stages today. Korngold's second string quartet was composed in the United States, but is deeply rooted in Central European traditions.
We picked this piece because it represents the dissemination of jewish culture into the American film industry. Many of the professionals in the vast polish jewish film industry immigrated to the US and became the backbone of the emerging film industry in Hollywood. Korngold was an important member of this community.
Hila Baggio, soprano
The Jerusalem Quartet
was founded in 1993, and began its training in Jerusalem, under the direction of the violinist Avi Abramovitch. From 1999 to 2001 the quartet received support from the BBC (as BBC New Generation Artists), then in 2003 it was the recipient of the first Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award.
The Jerusalem Quartet is now a regular guest in the world’s leading concert halls, notably in the United States where it is increasingly present. It performs with such artists as Alexander Melnikov, Lawrence Power, and Sharon Kam.
The quartet’s discography on harmonia mundi has won many international awards. Its interpretation of Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ Quartet won a Diapason d’Or of the Year in 2008 and an ECHO Klassik award in 2009, while its most recent release, Schumann’s Piano Quintet and Quartet, received distinctions from BBC Music Magazine, Scherzo, and Télérama.