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New Strings Attached - music for guitar, variously with voice, violin or electronics by 6 contemporary Jewish composers / Nadav Lev, guitar; Tehila Nini-Goldstein, soprano; Rinat Shaham, mz; Guy Barash, electronics

Album Summary

>Cohen, Gilad : The Rushing Camel, for guitar
>Klartag, Yair : Nothing to Express, for guitar & string quartet
>Keren, Jonathan : Ladino Songs (3), for mezzo-soprano, violin & guitar
>Barash, Guy : TalkBack III, for guitar & electronics
>Reshef, Ronnie : Bialik Children's Songs (4), for soprano & guitar
>Lev, Nadav [Guitar] : Shomeret Layla, for mezzo-soprano, guitar & electronics
Performers Ensemble Composers

Notes & Reviews:

An Andrés Segovia Award winner (Música en Compostela, Spain), Israeli-born Nadav Lev has earned his rightful place among today's most gifted young guitar virtuosos. For his Delos debut, Lev has assembled a fascinating and highly varied program of music by six of the finest among Israel's current, young composer crop. The music ranges from lovely vocal treatments of ancient Ladino Jewish songs (with violin) to edgy and gripping works (some including live electronics) crossing into the realm of the avant-garde. "... a talented and engagingly musical performer..." (Classical Guitar Magazine)

American Record Guide, March/April 2016
A mixed bag, as one might expect from a collection of music for classical and/or electric guitar by young Israeli composers. Gilad Cohen's 'Rushing Camel' is full of sonic effects to portray a galloping camel, coming eventually to rest and conversing with the rider. I suppose you had to be there. Yair Klartag's 'Nothing to Express', for string quartet and electric guitar, is aptly named. It's a hideous collection of frenetic scratching and scraping from the strings, with the electric guitar doing, well, electric guitar things, like feedback effects. I was happy for it to end. Guy Barash's 'Talk Back' is for classical guitar and computer. The guitar does something, and the computer responds - for about ten wasted minutes. The notes present this as a metaphor for social media, such as tweets and posts. I think I'll wait for the movie.

Jonathan Keren's Ladino Songs, on the other hand, are both beautiful and moving. They are passionate love songs (Ladino is to Spanish what Yiddish is to German), and the settings for voice, violin, and guitar are truly haunting. Renat Shaham's voice is perfect for them. Bailik Children's Songs, for guitar and soprano are also affecting, and Tehila Nini- Goldstein's voice combines innocence and a mature sound that works beautifully for thesev texts.

The longest and most effective work is by Lev himself, Shomeret Layla, for soprano, computer, and electric guitar. The Shomeret Layla is the woman, different each week, who oversees the communal nursery in a kibbutz. Soprano Re'ut Ben Ze'ev sings, speaks, screams. The text is from an actual night log for a Shomeret Layla, from the Psalms, and from Israeli poet Natan Alterman. It's chilling.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Oktaven Audio, Yonkers NY (10/2013-11/2014).



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Works Details

>Cohen, Gilad : The Rushing Camel, for guitar
  • Performer: Nadav Lev (Guitar)
  • Ensemble: Mivos String Quartet
  • Running Time: 9 min. 26 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2012

>Klartag, Yair : Nothing to Express, for guitar & string quartet
  • Performer: Nadav Lev (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2014

>Keren, Jonathan : Ladino Songs (3), for mezzo-soprano, violin & guitar
  • Performers: Miranda Cuckson (Violin); Nadav Lev (Guitar); Rinat Shaham (Soprano)
  • Running Time: 10 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary

>Barash, Guy : TalkBack III, for guitar & electronics
  • Performers: Guy Barash (Electronics); Nadav Lev (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 28 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2010

>Reshef, Ronnie : Bialik Children's Songs (4), for soprano & guitar
  • Performers: Tehila Goldstein; Nadav Lev (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 8 min. 2 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2009

>Lev, Nadav [Guitar] : Shomeret Layla, for mezzo-soprano, guitar & electronics
  • Performers: Guy Barash (Electronics); Re'ut Ben-Ze'ev (Soprano); Nadav Lev (Guitar)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2013-2014