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Hebrew Melodies for violin & piano - Avner Dorman: Nigunim; Bloch, Achron, Zeitlin / Gil and Orli Shaham

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> Danse hebraique - Danse hebraique
> Hebrew Melody, Op. 33 (version for violin and piano) - Hebrew Melody, Op. 33 (version for violin and piano)
> Violin Sonata No. 3, "Nigunim" - I. Adagio religioso
> Violin Sonata No. 3, "Nigunim" - II. Scherzo
> Violin Sonata No. 3, "Nigunim" - III. Adagio
> Violin Sonata No. 3, "Nigunim" - IV. Presto
> 2 Hebrew Pieces, Op. 35 (arr. for violin and piano) - No. 2. Lullaby
> 2 Hebrew Pieces, Op. 35 (arr. for violin and piano) - No. 1. Dance
> Schindler's List (arr. for violin and piano) - Theme: Slowly
> Schindler's List (arr. for violin and piano) - Jewish Town (Krakow Ghetto, Winter '41): Andante
> Schindler's List (arr. for violin and piano) - Remembrances: Moderato
> Eli Zion (arr. J. Achron) - Eli Zion (arr. J. Achron)
> Baal shem (version for violin and piano) - I. Vidui (Contrition): Un poco lento
> Baal shem (version for violin and piano) - II. Nigun (Improvisation): Adagio non troppo
> Baal shem (version for violin and piano) - III. Simchas Torah (Rejoicing): Allegro giocoso

Album Summary

>Bonime, Josef : Dance Hebraique for violin & piano
>Achron, Joseph : Hebrew Melody for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 33
>Dorman, Avner : Sonata for Violin no 3 'Nigunim'
>Achron, Joseph : Hebrew Pieces (2) for orchestra, Op. 35
>Williams, John : Pieces (3) from Schindler's List, for violin & orchestra
>Zeitlin, Leo : Eli Zion (Paraphrase on a folk theme and trop of "Song of Songs"), for cello & piano
>Bloch, Ernest : Baal Shem
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

The new release from siblings Gil and Orli Shaham is a wonderful and thought provoking offering of Hebrew melodies. Masterpieces by Bloch, Achron, and Zeitlin surround a sparkling centerpiece: the world-premiere recording of Avner Dorman's NIGUNIM, commissioned by the artists. "... a dynamic performance ... Mr. Shaham plunged into the virtuosic thickets of the Scherzo with aplomb, revealing its improvisatory melodies with flair. The Presto unfolded in a kaleidoscopic blaze, a frenzy of jazzy rhythms and explosive energy." - New York Times, on the world premiere of NIGUNIM

American Record Guide, November/December 2013
A Nigun is a musical vessel for heartfelt emotions, and an effective one is a vessel into which a musician (or in this case two musicians) can fit generations on generations of collective emotions without overtaxing the music's figurative walls. The Jewish people have had more than 5,000 years of recorded woe, and the sheer quantity of expression that musicians have been able to load into Joseph Achron's Nigunim (plural) continues to amaze me. That expression is extremely satisfying when it comes through the hands of Gil Shaham and his sister Orli.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, USA (04/13/2011/04/25/2011).



Reviews

Oh yeah!!! The Shaham’s are in the house!!!!!
Okay – I have to admit it – I’d walk a mile in the snow to hear Gil Shaham play violin. Here we have 10 works of Jewish music, played by Mr. Shaham (violin) and his sister Orli (piano). There is a tradition of music in the Jewish culture, and it is rich and warm and sad and so very, very human. And when performed by musicians of this caliber, it is difficult to listen to without focusing on it. Binime’s “Danse Hebraique” is full of energy and vigor, and Achron’s “Hebrew Melody, Op. 33” is filled with virtuosic elements that this pair gives us seemingly effortlessly. This is a truly great piece of music. Dorman’s four movement “Nigunim” is a very difficult to play but very soulful work (although the 2nd movement certainly has “teaching” elements – if you’re a virtuoso!), filled with determination and pathos, pride, and a sense of both unease and resolve. “2 Hebrew Pieces, Op. 35” from Achron are evocative (No. 2, “Lullaby”) and patiently energetic and driven (No. 1, “Dance”, which contains quite a virtuoso passage up and down the violin about mid-way through the piece). What follows are three works by John Williams from the score to “Schindler’s List”, and these are precisely and wonderfully played. Next is Leo Zeitlin’s “Eli Zion”, a very powerful and expressive work originally written for cello and piano, but transcribed for violin and piano by Achron. I had never heard this transcription before, and it is marvelous! Closing the CD is Ernest Bloch’s “Baal Shem” (subtitled “Three Pieces for Chassidic Life”), the first movement aptly titled “Contrition” is stoic and contrite, the second movement (“Nigun”, meaning melody) is strong and powerful, with the last movement (“Simchas Torah”) filled with joyful and personal feeling celebratory music.

The recording quality is excellent, and this recording will be spending a lot of time in my CD player. Both of the Shaham siblings do a fantastic job, the result being a recording to be enjoyed again and again. Highly recommended.

Submitted on 07/29/13 by KlingonOpera 
Brother and Sister Duo
Back in the 1960s, Micha Elman made a best selling recording for Vanguard consisting of popular Hebrew melodies. Flash forward to the present with Gil Shaham accompanied by his sister, Orli exploring a similar concept. However, the Shahams up the ante with the inclusion of two substantial works by Dorman and Williams both deserving of special attention. Throughout the entire program, the impeccable musicianship and elan of brother and sister make this an enticing acquisition. The sound pickup is natural. The liner notes are informative.
Submitted on 12/23/13 by conway 
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Works Details

>Bonime, Josef : Dance Hébraïque for violin & piano
  • Performers: Orli Shaham (Piano); Gil Shaham (Violin)
  • Notes: 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, USA (04/13/2011/04/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1916

>Achron, Joseph : Hebrew Melody for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 33
  • Performers: Orli Shaham (Piano); Gil Shaham (Violin)
  • Notes: 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, USA (04/13/2011/04/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 33 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1911

>Dorman, Avner : Sonata for Violin no 3 'Nigunim'
  • Performers: Orli Shaham (Piano); Gil Shaham (Violin)
  • Notes: 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, USA (04/13/2011/04/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Achron, Joseph : Hebrew Pieces (2) for orchestra, Op. 35
  • Performers: Orli Shaham (Piano); Gil Shaham (Violin)
  • Notes: 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, USA (04/13/2011/04/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Williams, John : Pieces (3) from Schindler's List, for violin & orchestra
  • Performers: Orli Shaham (Piano); Gil Shaham (Violin)
  • Notes: 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, USA (04/13/2011/04/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1993

>Zeitlin, Leo : Eli Zion (Paraphrase on a folk theme and trop of "Song of Songs"), for cello & piano
  • Performers: Orli Shaham (Piano); Gil Shaham (Violin)
  • Notes: 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, USA (04/13/2011/04/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 5 min. 8 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Bloch, Ernest : Baal Shem :: 3 pictures of Hassidic life, for violin & piano (or orchestra)
  • Performers: Orli Shaham (Piano); Gil Shaham (Violin)
  • Notes: 92nd Street Y, New York City, NY, USA (04/13/2011/04/25/2011)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1923