Jewish Music in Switzerland | VDE-GALLO

Jewish Music in Switzerland


Jewish Music in Switzerland

CD 1:
Ernest BLOCH: Baal Shem B. 47: II. Nigun – Max ETTINGER: Suite for Violin and Piano – Isadore FREED: Passacaglia for Cello and Piano – Ernst LEVY: Sonata for Cello and Piano – Daniel SCHNYDER: Ad Aeternam – Aaron YALOM: Three Eastern Dances for Viola and Piano.

CD 2:
Boris MERSSON: Sonata a tre Op. 43 – Frank Ezra LEVY: Ten little Pieces for Cello and Piano – Trio for Viola, Cello and Piano – Daniel SCHNYDER: Prelude in D – Fugue and Rondo – Blue – Habanera – Iron Tetrapod – Colossus of Sound.

Sergei Ostrovsky, Violin •
Hana Gubenko, Viola •
Scott Ballantyne, Cello •
Daniel Schnyder, Saxophone •
Timon Altwegg, Piano •

Jewish Music in Switzerland

Jewish musical creation in Switzerland has encountered (and perhaps still encounters) various challenges. On one hand, Switzerland lacked authentically Jewish popular music as found in Eastern Europe, where composers like Joseph Achron, Juliusz Wolfsohn, Alexander and Grigori Krein, Joel Engel, Lazar Saminsky, and many others drew inspiration. On the other hand, Swiss classical music struggled to gain recognition, leaving little foundation for composers to build upon. The Nazi dictatorship in the 20th century further exacerbated these challenges, leading to a complete rupture.

Consequently, no cohesive group of Jewish composers, aware of their identity, could emerge in Switzerland. Instead, the valuable contributions of independent composers such as Ernest Bloch, Ernst and Frank Ezra Levy, Boris Mersson, Leo Nadelmann, Max Ettinger, Aaron Yalom, and others were dispersed across various countries.

This “Jewish musical creation in Switzerland” can be categorized into three groups (though these lists are not exhaustive):

1. Swiss composers who primarily resided in their countries of origin (Leo Nadelmann, Boris Mersson, Philipp Eichenwald).

2. Swiss composers who emigrated for various reasons (Ernest Bloch, the two Levys, Aaron Yalom).

3. Immigrant composers, many of whom settled in Switzerland shortly before the Second World War (Max Ettinger, Paul Kletzki, Richard Rosenberg, Wladimir Vogel).

In this series of recordings, nearly all of which are world premieres, two significant factors play crucial roles. Firstly, there’s my long and intense friendship with Frank Ezra Levy. Secondly, there’s the incredibly stimulating knowledge of Walter Labhart, an eminent musicologist and publicist with an almost encyclopedic understanding.

VEL1697-1698 Booklet.pdf

CHF 28.00

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