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The Sovali Consort, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 6 Sep 2009

We proudly announce the release of three new CDs:

  • Sun and Rain—Jewish Songs and Chamber Music by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, Veniamin Basner and Dmitri Shostakovich (JMP CD 001)
  • Curtain Call for the St. Petersburg Jewish Music Society (1908), 100th anniversary. Songs and Piano Music by J. Achron, M. Gnesin, A. Krein, M. Milner and A.Veprik (JMP CD 002)
  • Tribute to Mikhail Gnesin. Songs and Chamber Music (JMP CD 003)

For those who are in the neighborhood, the CD presentation will be held Sunday 6 September, 11:00 AM at the Bethaniënklooster, Amsterdam

The program includes: Jewish songs and chamber music by Achron, Gnesin, Krein, Milner, Veprik, Weinberg, Basner and Shostakovich, performed by

Location: Bethaniënklooster, Barndesteeg 6 B, Amsterdam,
Tel: +31-20 - 625 0078
Admission: free
Information: Jewish Music Projects Foundation, Tel: +31 -20 - 662 3675

Sovali (Sofie van Lier), soprano
Paul Prenen, piano
Boris Goldenblank, violin
Alexander Oratovski, cello

At the start of the 20th century there was a renaissance of Jewish culture in Russia. Artists such as Marc Chagall and El Lissitzky used Jewish themes in their art. Writers such as Chaim Nachman Bialik and Sholom Aleichem wrote poems and stories in Hebrew and Yiddish. The music by composers such as Joseph Achron (1886-1943), Mikhail Gnesin (1883-1957), Alexander Krein (1883-1951), Moshe Milner (1886-1953) and Alexander Veprik (1899-1958) was inspired by Jewish themes. They founded the St. Petersburg Jewish Folk Music Society in 1908. It was an unprecedented collective effort to create a Jewish national school of classical music. The movement was crushed by the Stalin regime. Mieczylaw Weinberg (1919-1996), Veniamin Basner (1925-1996) and Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) belonged to a later generation of Russian composers who were inspired by Jewish themes. World War II and the reign of terror in the Soviet Union had a deep impact on the composers. At a time when Jewish culture was taboo and open pronouncements could have fatal consequences, it was often years before their works could be performed. Some scores never left the composer’s drawers or remained buried in archives. Now, many years later, these musical jewels have been rediscovered.

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