Jewish Cello Masterpieces
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Highly recommended for Locker’s highly involved, warm, and technically masterly readings.'
Source: Fanfare Magazine Jan/Feb 2011
Top Customer Reviews
On this CD, cellist Richard Locker, accompanied by Susan Walters on piano, brings together 12 classical Jewish pieces, some well-known and others not so, in an absolutely magnificent performance -- so beautiful, that it literally brought tears to my eyes. The CD starts out with a niggun (Hasidic tune) by Ernest Bloch, then moves into to the dark, somber strains of Max Bruch's "Kol Nidre." From there it rises in mood, to end with a playful Yiddish theater piece, "Wie schecht is ohne Gelt" (How awful it is to be without money!) Included is the rarely heard "Meditation Hebraique" by Bloch, which he dedicated to Pable Casals, and a trio of pieces by the lesser-known composer, Zavel Zilberts (1881-1949), who directed the Choral Society of New York and played with the Metropolitan Opera. All of this is performed on a cello made by Nicolo Gagliano, dated 1780. To hear such a fine old instrument played by a talented, sensitive musician is truly a mechayah! (pleasure)
Ernest Bloch's "Nigun" is given a white hot reading that certainly ranks among the best, and "Schelomo" has everything one could want; exquisite tone, complete range of expression, and a concise realization of the structure that makes the interpretation compelling from beginning to end. Speaking of tone, this is not just a beautiful sound but a widely varied and subtly nuanced one, and despite the unified theme of the record each piece is given its own, unique voice.
Also on the disc is a strikingly original interpretation of Max Bruch's Kol Nidre and a number of less familiar pieces. Notable among these are the deeply expressive songs by Zavel Zilberts (my favorite is one called V'shom'ru) and a witty example by David Meyerowitz from the Yiddish Theatre, entitled Gelt. The recorded cello sound is exceptionally vibrant. This is a must have record for serious music lovers and for those who prefer the "old" values in music making
In admiring this recording, I imagined hearing the qualities of both Heifetz and Casals. Mr. Locker is clearly a very creative player with a style of playing which is uniquely vivid, honest, and compelling.
The sound quality of the recording is excellent, and I certainly recommend its inclusion in the library of not only those who love the voice of the cello, or Jewish themes, but anyone who admires great string playing.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
High quality recording. Selections on CD were to my liking. SoothingPublished 6 months ago by judith Piazza
sad, minor key works that mirror the harsh life of the Jews through the centuries, beautiful melodies, southing sounds.Published 7 months ago by Irwin Tallarico
One of my very favorite CDs, beautifully performed, meditative and melancholy, soul cleansing.Published 10 months ago by Carolyn McCrady
A little too sad sounding for me...tho the talent is there.Published 11 months ago by Lois N. Jones
Nothing to say except that I was looking for typical Jewish songs as background music for a play. This music was VERY beautiful - just not what I was looking for.Published 12 months ago by cyndie