"The Yellow Ticket" reviewed in Philadelphia podcast
One of the most rewarding productions I have seen this year was the live music score written to accompany an early silent film, The Yellow Star. Written by violin maestro (maestra?) Alicia Svigals, and performed by her along with the equally amazing pianist, Marilyn Lerner, was incredible. The movie? Okay, it is easy to see how it got lost between the cracks. But the combination of violin, piano, and human voice that accompany the movie change the experience from viewing a static cultural document with curious history (essentially, an anti-Russian propoganda film created by Germans during WWI), to something far more alive and exciting—a iece that one hopes will remain in the active performance repertoire.
The piece is especially poignant as the National Foundation for Jewish Culture seems to have gotten out of the Jewish culture business and is instead focused on Israeli culture (not remotely the same thing, despite the obvious intersections). Feh.
In the meantime, folks in Philadelphia have done what I did not do when the piece was presented here in Boston earlier this year: they have reviewed the piece. So, let me provide a link to their audio podcast for your elucidation and pleasure:
The Yellow Ticket: An Early Record of 20th-Century Anti-Semitism, By David Patrick Stearns, May 12, 2013
"The 2013 Philadelphia Jewish Music Festival concluded with a curious 1918 silent film, The Yellow Ticket, presented at the Gershman Y in Center City, with live musical accompaniment that gave the often-grainy images a new life and renewed meaning. One of the first films about anti-Semitism, The Yellow Ticket reminded The Philadelphia Inquirer's David Patrick Stearns just how much the world has changed - and how much it has yet to change." [listen to the complete audio]