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Israeli Music

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Author Topic: Israeli Music  (Read 777 times)
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« on: February 16, 2016, 02:46:48 am »

Music of Menahem Avidom

from the collection of Karl Miller

I've posted two of his symphonies earlier-- now, thanks to Karl, we have the full symphonic cycle.

Symphony No. 1 "Folk Symphony" (1946)
Kol Israel SO
Heinz Freudenthal, conductor

Symphony No. 2 "David" (1948)
Israel Broadcasting Orchestra
Joseph Singer, conductor

Symphony No. 3 "Mediterranean Sonfonietta"
Israel Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra
Eitan Globerzon, conductor

Symphony No. 4. (1955)
Israel Broadcasting Orchestra
Gary Bertini, conductor

Symphony No. 5. "The Song of Eliat" w/soprano (1957)
soprano unknown
Israel Radio SO
Joseph Singer, conductor

Symphony No. 6 (1960)
Israel Broadcasting Orchestra
Jean Martinon, conducter

Symphony No. 7 (1961)

Israel Radio Orchestra
Sergiu Comissiona, conductor

Symphony No. 8 "Festival Sonfonietta" (1966)
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Georges Pretre, conductor

Symphony No. 9. "Symphonie Variee for Chamber Orchestra" (1968)
Performers unknown.

Symphony No. 10. "Sinfonia Brevis" (1980)
Israel Broadcasting Orchestra
Israel Edelson, conductor

Flute Concerto (1944)
Guber(?), flute
Kol Israel Orchestra
Shalom Ronly-Riklis, conductor

Short Biography from

Menahem Avidom (Composer)

Born: January 6, 1908 - Stanislav, Galicia, then Austro-Hungarian Empire
Died: August 5, 1995 - Tel-Aviv, Israel

Menahem [Menachem] Avidom [Mahler-Kalkstein] was an Israeli composer of Russian birth. His mother was a cousin of Gustav Mahler; his adopted surname combines the word ‘Avi’ (‘father of’) with the initials of his children's names. He studied at the American University in Beirut and at the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included Rabaud. In 1925 he emigrated to Palestine, where, in addition to his work as a composer, he served as a music critic, secretary general of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (1945-1952), chair of the Israel Composers' League (1958-1971) and general director of ACUM, the Israeli performing rights society (1955-1980).

In the late 1930s, after writing early works in an Impressionist style, Menahem Avidom turned towards atonal composition. While studying in Beirut and during a four-year stay in Egypt, however, he became deeply influenced by Mediterranean and Asian folk music and French culture. These influences found their expression in arrangements for the Yemenite singer Bracha Zefira (1939), the Flute Concerto (1944), Symphony No. 1 ‘Amamit’ (‘Folk Symphony’, 1945), Symphony No. 3 ‘Yam tichonit’ (‘Mediterranean Sinfonietta’, 1951) and other works. A use of modal scales, folk-like dance rhythms, oriental melodic motifs and orchestration influenced by Ravel and Les Six are characteristic of these works. Symphony No. 2 ‘David’ (1948-1949) depicts the life of the biblical king, while Symphony No. 5 ‘Shirat Eilat’ (‘The Song of Eilat’, 1956-1957) is a combination of a conventional symphonic form and a song cycle.

In the early 1960’s Israeli music began to move away from regionalism towards international styles and techniques. Influenced by these trends, Avidom turned to 12-note procedures. Enigma (1962), a work that imitates electronic effects, displays his interest in sound patterns: the second movement is an inversion of the first, the fourth an inversion of the third and the fifth a recapitulation of the first. The Symphony No. 7 (1960-1961) features a four-note series (A-B-D-mi) that refers to his name. In 1974, for the first Rubinstein Piano Master Competition, Avidom wrote ArtHur ruBinStEin, six inventions based on the series of notes represented in Rubinstein's name (A-H-B-S-E). The last symphony, No. 10 (1981), combines 12-note procedures and oriental melodies. Bachiana (1984-1985), based on B-A-C-H, was written for J.S. Bach's 300th anniversary.

Avidom's first major opera B'khol dor va'dor (‘In Every Generation’, 1953-1954) describes events in Jewish history. Ha'preida (‘The Farewell’, 1971) creates a strangely unreal atmosphere and a convincing expression of complex psychological situations. His historical opera Alexandra ha'khashmonait (‘Alexandra the Hasmonean’, 1955-1956) won the Israel State Prize in 1961.

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All download links I have posted are for works, that, to  my knowledge, have never been commercially released in digital form.  Should you find I've been in error, please notify myself or an Administrator.  Please IM me if I've made any errors that require attention, as I may not read replies.

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