, October 2011
The music falls into two categories: pensive, philosophic prayers and fast, cheery dances. Prayer and dance are the two main well-springs of Jewish music. Often a prayer turns into a dance, thus confirming the duality of the Jewish attitude towards life, fate, and God. A Jewish dance, even the merry hora, is never unrestrained: there is always wisdom and bitterness. On the other hand, Jewish sorrow always carries the seeds of hope.
You may already have heard the Bloch and Ravel pieces. They stand out from the rest in depth but the other pieces also have high musical quality. Many works call for virtuosity especially from the violinist. Both musicians well up to the task. All the effects and ornaments are performed with skill. The fast parts will have your feet tapping. The slow parts are soulfully felt. Whatever nationality you are, they will awake your memories.
The performers have this music deep under their skin but they also have the ability to inject it under yours. This is a faithful, sincere reading, planned and executed with love and thought. The liner-note is informative. It tells us briefly about the composers and the history of the featured works.