Past Events, 2012-13 Jewish Music Forum Season
"A Prayer for Modernity: Cantor Abraham Baer (1834-1894) and the Jewish Reform Movement"
Associate Professor Anders Hammarlund, Center for Swedish Folk Music and Jazz Research
Monday 29 October 2012
1:45 p.m.- 3:00 p.m.
Hebrew Union College, Chapel
In 1877 Abraham Baer published his Baal t'fillah oder der practische Vorbeter, an epoch-making work in the history of Jewish liturgical music. Baer's publication is considered as the most comprehensive documentation of traditional, 19th-century European hazzanut. If his work is well known, astonishingly little has been known about Baer's biography. My book sheds new light on the cantor's early years in German/Polish Provinz Posen, and on his cultural environment in Gothenburg in Sweden, where he was working as cantor, shochet and mohel from 1857 on. It is demonstrated that the very peculiar and specific culturalal climate of the Swedish city considerably encouraged Baer in his efforts. His Baal t'fillah… emerged from a fascinating interplay and exchange between Jewish, Swedish and German culture that characterized "the Gothenburg spirit". In fact, Baer could be described as a pioneer of Swedish ethnomusicology.
"Tailoring an Operetta to Its Audience: Rumshinsky's Di goldene kale (1923)"
Michael Ochs, retired Richard F. French Librarian and Senior Lecturer on Music, Harvard University
Mark Slobin, Winslow- Kaplan Professor of Music Music Department, Wesleyan University
Friday, 22 February 2013
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street
New York, NY 10011
Joseph Rumshinsky’s 1923 operetta Di goldene kale (The Golden Bride) is a work carefully designed to both move and entertain a very specialized American audience: Yiddish-speaking immigrants from Eastern Europe and their families. It is a thoroughly professional musical comedy with pathos (the basic ingredient), love, “Jewish-style” music, a kiddush, acts set in a shtetl and in America, a shadchen, a lullaby that slips into Russian, assimilated Jews speaking broken Yiddish, a paean to America, and other features that combine to offer its attendees a meaningful evening based on their past and present experiences. Included are original-cast and other recordings from the time.
Dr. Michael Ochs is retired Richard F. French Librarian and Senior Lecturer on Music at Harvard University, as well as the past music editor at W. W. Norton publishers. He is currently preparing a critical edition of the operetta's score based on manuscript material from the original production.
Professor Mark Slobin is Winslow-Kaplan Professor of Music at Wesleyan University and author of Fiddler on the Move: Exploring the Klezmer World, Chosen Voices: The Story of the American Cantorate, and Tenement Songs: The Popular Music of the Jewish Immigrants.
"The Vision of the East: Arabic Music as an Ideal in 80 Years of Israeli Art Music"
Professor Jehoash Hirshberg, Emeritus, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
With an introduction by Sarah Weiss, Professor of Music, Yale University
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University
A001 77 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511
The amazingly large repertory created in the Jewish community of Palestine and later in the State of Israel, featured a diversity of ideological trends, placed on an imaginary line connecting two ideological poles:
1) The “Heritage of the West.” Facing the trauma of displacement under dismal conditions, the immigrant composers were reluctant to part with the heritage of the West within which they had been trained.
2) The “Vision of the East.” The composers were moved by internal motivation as well as external national ideology to reject their European heritage and turn to the East as a source of inspiration.
There were two such sources: a) quotations of traditional tunes of Jewish eastern communities, which were considered authentic and ancient; b) an attempt by a few of the composers to create music based on the musical parameters of Arabic music, especially that of sound, which the immigrant composers hardly knew and which was far from their aesthetics, especially the lack of harmonic-chordal thinking. The lecture will illustrate the salient examples in the course of eighty years of the history of music of the Jewish community of Palestine until 1948 and of Israel, beginning with the ideology of Alexander Boscovich in his Semitic Suite up to recent works.
Jehoash Hirshberg, Professor Emeritus, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Born in Tel Aviv. Received his Ph.D. in Musicology (1971) from The University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, with a dissertation on fourteenth century music in France. From 1971 until his retirement in 2006 was a professor at the Musicology Department, Hebrew University, Jerusalem. His research fields have included the music of the 14th century, the Italian solo concerto at the time of Vivaldi, with a joint book with Prof. Simon McVeigh, Goldsmith College, London (Boydell Press, London, 2004), and recently Italian Opera in the decade of national unification 1860-70. In the field of history and sociology of Israeli art music he published Music in the Jewish Community of Palestine 1880-1948 (Oxford University Press, 1995), a monograph on Paul Ben Haim (IMP 1995, a revised and updated version, IMI 2010), and a monograph on Alexander U. Boskovich jointly Herzl Shmueli, and numerous articles and lectures at international conferences, such as the conference Art Musics of Israel, London, March 2011. He is currently working with Rotem Luz on a monograph on the composer Yehezkel Braun.
*Cosponsored by Yale University's Council on Middle East Studies
"From Europe to New Orleans: Jewish Music Past and Present"
SUNDAY EVENING EVENTS
MARCH 3, 2013
Concert: Synagogue Music of Europe, America, and New Orleans – 7:00 P.M.
Welcome: Tulane Provost Michael Bernstein
Performers: Cantorial Soloist Victoria May, Cantor Joel Colman, Cantor Jamie Marx,
With the Tulane University Choir, Leonard Raybon, Conductor; David Reis, Accompanist
Dixon Recital Hall, Uptown Tulane Campus
Evening Reception – 8:00 PM
Host: Newcomb Department of Music, Tulane University
Dixon Room 118, Uptown Tulane Campus
MONDAY ALL-DAY CONFERENCE
MARCH 4, 2013
From Europe to New Orleans: Jewish Music Past and Present
Rogers Memorial Chapel, Uptown Tulane Campus
Session I – 9:00 – 10:30 A.M.
European Roots of American Jewish Music
Welcome: Michael Leavitt, President, American Society for Jewish Music
Introduction: John H. Baron, Tulane University
Speaker I: Brian Horowitz, Tulane University (historian): “Recording on a Gravestone: The Jewish Ethnographic Expedition of 1912-1914 and Jewish Music”
Speaker 2: Mark Kligman, Hebrew Union College/Jewish Institute of Religion (musicologist): “The Developing Sound of the Synagogue in the 19th Century: Western and Eastern European Jewish Liturgical Music”
Moderator: John H. Baron, Tulane University (musicologist)
Session II – 11:00 A.M. – 12:30 P.M.
American Adaptations of the European Experiences
Speaker 1: Michael Cohen, Tulane University (historian): “From Minhag America to American Jewish Movements: Unity and Fragmentation in Nineteenth-Century American Judaism”
Speaker 2: Judah Cohen, Indiana University (ethnomusicologist): “A New Sound for a New Place: Zimrath Yah and the Formation of American Judaism, 1871-1886”
Moderator: Edward P. Cohn, Rabbi Temple Sinai, New Orleans
Lunch Break: 12:30 PM – 2:30 PM – Kosher Cafeteria at Hillel House, 912 Broadway
Session III– 2:30 – 4:30 P.M.
Jews and Music in New Orleans
vis-à-vis European Roots and American Experiences
Jewish Music Forum: Amanda L. Scherbenske, Executive Director, Jewish Music Forum
Speaker I: Stephen Whitfield, Brandeis University (historian): “The Jewish Experience in New Orleans”
Speaker 2: Jack Stewart (local architectural historian): “The Jewish Musical Experience in New Orleans"
Moderator: William Hess (New Orleans)
Final Reception– 4:30– 5:30 P.M.
Department of Jewish Studies, 7301 Freret St.
We acknowledge the generous support of:
The Jewish Music Forum
The American Society for Jewish Music
Department of Jewish Studies, Tulane University
New Orleans Center for the Gulf South
Temple Sinai, New Orleans
Cantor Jamie Marx, Touro Synagogue, New Orleans
Special thanks to John H. Baron, Tulane University