MAX STERN: Mosaic (62:12)
Conceived as a mosaic, this colorful disc fits together works of varied dimensions and textures. It was recorded by artists and ensembles who collaborated with the composer in their realization. It combines modern vision with desert inspiration and traditional folklore East and West.
Bedouin Impressions (1989) (11:08)
for solo violoncello
1. Pastoral (3:47)
2. Lament (3:17)
3. Goat Dance (4:04)
Musical sketches of a nomadic neighbor, these are virtuoso pieces for solo cello. Through the window of my home on the edge of the desert I saw Bedouin herdsmen and women taking their herds of sheep, goats, and camels to pasture. I then encountered them in a strange but profoundly human way in a wadi. We offered them a waffle and they offered us a ride on their donkey. A popular work, they have been arranged and performed in multiple versions for solo violin, solo viola, string quartet, and string orchestra.
Inbal Segev is one of the outstanding Israeli cellists of her generation. She has won numerous prizes and performed with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and other international ensembles as soloist.
Terezin Songs (1969/2000)(12:32)
for soprano, flute, oboe, guitar, and cello
1. From Tomorrow On (4:49)
"From Tomorrow on I will be sad, not today."
2. Birdsong (4:00)
"He doesn't know the world at all who stays in his nest and doesn't go out."
3. I Want to Go Away Alone (3:41)
"I want to go away where there are other nicer people."
These are profoundly moving songs are settings of poems by children of the Terezin concentration camp. "At times when speech is stifled by darkness, song live on. In the imaginations of little children we celebrate the vision of man's goodness in an age of evil" (Albert H. Friedlander).
Kristyna Valouskova is the foremost interpreter of contemporary music in the Czech Republic. Her exacting musicianship has been heard in international festivals and recordings. Musica Gaudeans (Katerina Kopecka-flute, Jiri Zelba-oboe, Pavel Ciboch-guitar, Jakub Dvorak-cello) are an innovative ensemble of Prague based soloists.
Mosaic: Six Synagogue Tesserae (1999) (10:18)
for flute, English horn, violin, cello, and synthesizer
1.North Africa (High Holiday liturgy)(0:47)
2. Morocco (study mode)(2:15)
3. Italy (litugical poem)(1:30)
4. Jerusalem (Sephardic song of rejoicing)(1:52)
5. Hassidic (Eastern European liturgy)(2:22)
6. Tunis (Song at the Sea)(1:30)
Unisonal in color, heterophonic in texture, these archaic-like miniatures are based on Jewish ethnic sources.
To Mean Electric is one of Italy's most exciting new music groups, blending acoustic and electric instruments.
(Claudio Mordbo-is an outstanding conductor, opera director, organizer, and professor active in Northern Italy./ Francesca Lanza-flute, Andrea Chenna-English horn, Efix Pulco-violin, Margherita Monnet-cello, Paola Poncet-synthesizer)
A traditional shofar blast (0:20) is source for and introduces ----
Yobel: Jubilee for Orchestra (1989)(13:08)
Flowing in exultant euphony, Yobel is a rhythmically animated expression of freedom "Thou shalt make proclamation with the blast of the horn and proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof" (Lev. 25:9-10). It has been performed in Europe and Israel.
Uri Mayer is the internationally celebrated conductor of the Toronto Philharmonic, who recorded this work as music director of one of Israel's finest chamber orchestra, the Negev based Israel Sinfonietta of Beer-Sheva.
Three Pastorals (1984)(7:29)
for flute, basson and piano
Conversational, playful, inward, and jocund. This lyric trio projects a melodiocall pointillistic yet urban character.
Trio Seneca ( Kaspar Zender-flute (Switzerland), Florin Carlejan-bassoon, Marta Nemes-piano) are prize winning soloists based in Cluj, Romania. They have recorded extensively in Western Europe.
Motets on Chanukah Songs (1971)(6:30)
for 3-part acappella women's or children's choir
1. Chanukah (1:49)
"Chanukah O' Chanukah, let's light the menorah."
2. Maoz Tzur (3:26)
"Rock of Ages let our song praise thy saving power."
3. Dreydl (1:14)
"I have a littler dreydl. I made it out of clay. When it's dry and ready, then dreydl I shall play."
Motets are based on tradional holidays songs for Chanukah the Jewish Festival of Lights. "Chanukah O' Chanukah" celebrates the lighting of the 8-branched candelabrum. "Maoz Tzur" or Rock of Ages is a classic hymn of thanksgiving. "Dreydl" about the spinning top, is a children's game song.
The Hebrew Union College Chorale are cantorial students from the USA studying at the Jerusalem campus of the HUC.