Paul Ben-Haim KABBALAT SHABBAT 18€
Born in Munich, Paul Ben-Haim was assistant to Bruno Walter and Knappertsbusch at the State Opera, then conductor in Augsburg, then unemployed and refugee; he has been rediscovered by the Jewish Chamber Orchestra Munich. Daniel Grossmann presents works from the years in which the composer built a new life for himself in Israel: his Sonata in G, written for Yehudi Menuhin; his oriental “Songs without Words”; his compositions of psalms “Lift up your heads”; and the main work, his “Kabbalat Shabbat”. The sabbath, the day of G*d, the day of quiet and thoughtfulness, is greeted with joyous song. One crosses the field in festive clothes to meet him. This according to the verses of the mystic Shlomo Alkabez, and Paul Ben-Haim interprets them with simple melodies in the service of the liturgy.
John Cage QUARTETS I-VIII 18€
John Cage’s Quartets I-VIII is one of the most unusual and refined orchestra works I know. It was created for the 200thanniversary of the United States of America. Cage used eight old American chorales that he formed into a new work with the help of the Chinese I Ching oracle.
The basic idea is that there are always four orchestra instruments playing at the same time. There are always new groups forming quartets with diverse instrumentation. Cage used the I Ching to decide which tones each instrument should play.
Looking at the score, the piece appears to be very simple. But due to the fragmentary character of the instrumentation, performing it presents a great challenge. Each musician must count exactly to not miss her entry. The most difficult requirement is to bring the few notes to be played into the ensemble so that meaningful phrases result in the end. Only through precise listening and following the music is it possible to make the piece sound good.
JCOM Shopping Bag 3€