Hebräische Melodie Joseph ACHRON(1886-1943)
Hebräische Melodie Op.33 (1911) [5:04]
Stempenyu – suite for violin and piano [6:18]
Hebräische Wiegenlied Op.35 (1912) [2:11] Joseph KAMINSKI (1903-1972)
Recitative and Dance [3:28] Alexander WEPRIK (1899-1958)
Suite Op. 7 [8:52]
Kaddisch (Totengebet) Op.6 [9:15] Joachim STUTSCHEWSKY (1891-1982)
Altchassidische Weise [3:03]
Ancient Dance [5:40] Lazare SAMINSKY (1882-1959)
Hebräische Rhapdsodie Op.3 No.2 [4:50] Julius ENGEL (1868-1927)
Zwei Stücke Op.20 [5:03]
Marat Dickermann (violin)
Monica Gutman (piano)
rec. 2008, Bechstein Centrum Frankfurt am Main
ZUK RECORDS 330 [57:01]
There are quite a few discs devoted to Jewish classical music. Some leaven the unfamiliar with Bloch; others include a far less well known figure, such as Achron, which is the path taken by this entrant. Achron has been receiving quite a bit of disc space over the last ten or fifteen years and gone, or going, are the days when only the Hebräische Melodie did the rounds - that saying, it does the rounds here too.
Marat Dickermann is an especially well versed practitioner in the field and he’s joined by Monica Gutman for an hour or so of companionable music-making. His Achron is quite unsentimental. It’s not brusque but it contrasts with, say, Miriam Kramer’s take on ASV CD QS6235 which was given over entirely to his compositions. Dickermann takes a much more direct route than Kramer and her partner Simon Over, and some will certainly prefer it Achron’s Stempenyu;suite for violin and piano sports a neatly formalised dance but the Frejlachs is the most obviously ‘Jewish’ in ethos, more freewheeling and avid, where earlier things are a little salon-constrained.
Dickermann’s vibrato can be a little slow at times in the Achron but he reserves greater weight for Kaminski’s extrovert Recitative and Dance, of which this is apparently the first ever recording. Kaminski became leader of the Palestine Orchestra in 1937 and you should ignore the booklet typo; he died in 1972 not 1927. Alexander Weprik’s Op.7 Suite uses some quite advanced harmonies and there are impressionist and even very late Romantic hues as well infiltrating or indeed expanding the Hebraic vocabulary. The central movement is Cantorial, with a very busy piano part, though the finale is loquacious and extrovert. His Kaddisch, as with the Kaminski, is also receiving a premiere recording. There’s a long, melancholy two minute piano introduction that has one wondering if the fiddle is going to join in. There’s an interesting dichotomy between the violin’s more reserved line and the piano’s occasionally oppressive introspection.
We are also blessed with first ever status to the two pieces by Stutschewsky. He was leader of the ‘New Jewish’ school in Vienna. Hints of Debussy perhaps in the first piece, whilst the second has Hassidic vibrancy and includes a mini cadential passage. Saminsky couldn’t have titled his Hebräische Rhapdsodie more precisely. Its faster and slower sections are part of a well established schema but the bowing calls for some first rate technique, and there are lots of tight trills to keep the fingers busy. We end with two pieces by Julius Engel who gives us yet another ingratiatingly attractive Frejlachs – a sort of Jewish Sarasate dance, I suppose.
This is an enjoyable disc covering traditional stylistic ground.
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