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Classical Californians: Noreen Green

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Our Classical Californian this week is Noreen Green, the founding Artistic Director and Conductor of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony, which launched 30 years ago. The orchestra was created to champion works of classical music that celebrate the Jewish experience. She's selected a range of pieces by Leonard Bernstein, Ernest Bloch, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Eric Zeisl, Andrea Clearfield, and Sony Alex Braun.

She starts with a Biblical celebration of music by Leonard Bernstein, from his Chichester Psalms. (The first movement runs through 3:39 in the video below)

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Leonard Bernstein: Chichester Psalms

Then it's the music of Ernest Bloch, first with the Fugue finale from his Concerto Grosso No. 1 for String Orchestra, with pianist Patricia Michaelian.

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Ernest Bloch: Concerto Grosso No. 1 (Fugue)

Bloch's Baal Shem Suite contains this beautiful movement called "Nigun" which uses the tradition of improvisation - although it's entirely notated. We'll hear Joshua Bell as the soloist.

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Ernest Bloch: Baal Shem Suite: "Nigun"

Next we'll hear music inspired by the prophets by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, who called his second violin concerto "I Profeti." The soloist here is Jascha Heifetz. The third movement, heard in the broadcast, starts at 21:39.

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Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco: Violin Concerto No. 2 "I Profeti"

Now a few selections from the ballet Jacob and Rachel by Eric Zeisl, which was reconstructed and recorded by the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony with Noreen Green conducting.

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Eric Zeisl: Jacob and Rachel - "At the Well"

Eric Zeisl: Jacob and Rachel - "Rachel Appears"

Eric Zeisl: Jacob and Rachel - "Dance of Recognition"

Another work that the LAJS has recorded and championed was Women of Valor, an oratorio by composer Andrea Clearfield, celebrating biblical women dramatically. We'll hear the movement "Miriam," sung by soprano Hila Plitmann.

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Andrea Clearfield: Women of Valor - "Miriam"

And finally, music of remembrance and hope by violinist and composer Shony Alex Braun, the final two movements of his Symphony of the Holocaust, "Song of Commemoration" and "The Joy of Life."

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Shony Alex Braun: Symphony of the Holocaust (final 2 movements)

Published on 05.08.2024