Classical music often crosses cultural barriers in terms of the composer, the substance of the music itself, the performers and, of course, the audience. These presentations focus on cultural issues and should strike a chord (pardon the pun) among many of you. Cultural issues can be a sensitive topic to many, but when there is some humour and perhaps some irreverence the sessions will be fun and entertaining. At the same time they are still informative and educational.
As we all know, much classical music was composed in order to serve the purposes of the Christian church. However, several well-known composers created masterworks using Jewish themes for their music. In some cases the composer’s music, surprisingly or not surprisingly, has become, or should become, an important feature in modern Jewish society. This presentation will provide some interesting insight into the relationship between Judaism and classical or orchestral music.
(Spanish Music / French Composers)
In the late 19th and early 20th century a lot of beautiful Spanish style music was written by composers whose native country was France. They often travelled to Spain where they fell in love with the folk music and rhythms they heard. They then returned home and wrote many great orchestral works on this Spanish style music. Some of the best Spanish music was written by the French. This session will present several examples of this. Allons-y, ca va! Vamanos, ole!
As Canadians we are very mindful and appreciative of the British heritage from which our country developed. From Britain we have our monarch who is the head of state, the parliamentary system of government and the rule of common law, to distinguish us from most other countries. But there is also great orchestral music to which we owe the mother country. These selections of British music will demonstrate the Brits love of history, nature and pageantry. Rule Britannia! Britannia rule the waves!
(No, But Let’s Listen To The Music)
Tango music is heard and played all over the world. From its origins as folk music in the gritty streets of Argentina in the late 19th century, to its popularization in South America and beyond in the early part of the 20th century, it has become common to hear it performed by many leading orchestras, alongside more traditional classical music. So stay in your seats and enjoy this. But don’t feel ashamed if you want to get up and dance!
Most often we hear live classical or orchestral music performed in the traditional venue – the concert hall. Recently, however there have been very many spontaneous performances of classical music and opera in public, among the crowds, in unusual places – fast food courts, shopping malls, building lobbies. These “flash mob” performances are fun to watch, to see both the performers and the unsuspecting, surprised spectators. This session will present several of these scenes from around the world.
Many composers have written music based on places in which they live or on places to where they have traveled. Whether they are residents of these places or not, their skill is the way that they depict the people, the history and geography of these foreign locales through the music they have composed. Please be on time for boarding on this journey.
In the 2017 World Baseball Classic, a team from Israel acquitted itself very well in terms of its success on the field in the main tournament. The team was made up of American “Jews” according to the criteria of the Israel Law of return - be a practicing Jew, have a Jewish parent or grandparent, or be married to a Jew. (Note there was similar criteria for Italians and Greeks on their teams). We also have the Jewish All Stars of the classical music composing world. It looks like a winning team.
Any great sports team obviously has a very talented and skilled starting lineup. The starters get most of the playing time and do most of the scoring. But a great team must also have a solid group of second stringers, commonly known as the bench strength or reserves. Injuries occur and the replacements must be ready to go in and carry the load for the team at any time. The Jewish All Star team of the classical music world has a great bench that can be counted on to deliver when called upon.
Founding Of The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
The IPO was founded in 1936 in British ruled Palestine. Its founding is a tale of bravery and defiance on the part of one man, Bronislaw Huberman, the leading violinist in Europe. He rescued many Jewish musicians and their families from the oncoming menace of Nazism. In saving their lives a great orchestral tradition was created. This presentation includes the same music as heard in the IPO inaugural concert, along with details behind its founding.