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Jewish Cello Masterpieces


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Audio CD, September 20, 2002
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Cited as "an artist who expresses ideas with emotion"...for his...."romantic personality and free flow of feeling"...and..."exceptionally clean playing with an incisive interpretive style," by the New York Times, and as “a true young master” by the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, cellist Richard Locker is well known to music lovers for his distinguished and ... Read more in Amazon's Richard Locker Store

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Jewish Cello Masterpieces + Eternal Echoes: Songs & Dances for the Soul + Jewish Soul: Lively Jewish Music at Its Best
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Product Details

  • Performer: Richard Locker, Susan Walters
  • Composer: Ernest Bloch, Max Bruch, Maurice Ravel, Zavel Zilberts, Jacob Wasilkovsky, et al.
  • Audio CD (September 20, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Leggiero Records
  • ASIN: B00006NSWV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,421 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ernest Bloch: "Nigun" (from Baal Shem)
2. Ernest Bloch: "Schelomo"
3. Max Bruch: "Kol Nidre"
4. Ernest Bloch: "Prayer" (from Jewish Life)
5. Ernest Bloch: "Meditation Hebraique"
6. Maurice Ravel: "Kaddisch"
7. Zavel Zilberts: "Reb Dovid'l"
8. Zavel Zilberts: "V'shom'ru"
9. Zavel Zilberts: "Haneros Halolu"
10. Jacob Wasilkovsky: "Al Tiro"
11. Zavel Zilberts: "Havdolo"
12. David Meyerowitz: "Gelt" (Wie Shlecht es is Ohn Gelt)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A beautiful collection of great Jewish Music. Classics by Ernest Bloch and Max Bruch, mixed with rarely heard gems by Maurice Ravel, Zavel Zilberts, Jacob Wasilkovsky, and David Meyerowitz. "Wie Shlecht es is Ohn Gelt", a Yiddish Theatre gem, is alone worth the price of admission for its mixture of pathos and humor. The songs by Zilberts are an important and beautiful part of the Jewish music legacy that must be heard.

Review

“…exceptional control as well as an outstanding gift of communication, his performances of Schelomo, Kol Nidre, Kaddisch, and the excerpt from Baal Shem can hold their own with the likes of Rostropovich, Ma, Rose, Fournier, and Starker—elite company indeed.
Highly recommended for Locker’s highly involved, warm, and technically masterly readings.'

Source: Fanfare Magazine Jan/Feb 2011

Customer Reviews

The sound quality is rich and tonal.
Donna M. Phelan
Richard Locker is an extraordinarily gifted cellist, and his music is spellbinding and transformative.
Michael Levin
I am new to this music but i am glad i purchased it because i am enjoying it very much.
M. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

64 of 65 people found the following review helpful By Rabbi Yonassan Gershom VINE VOICE on January 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Perhaps no other instrument captures the sad-sweet contemplative mood of classical Jewish music like a cello. Is this because so many Jewish composers have written for the cello, that we think of it as a "Jewish" instrument? Or did they choose the cello because it sings so beautifully of the Jewish soul? Like the chicken and the egg, this question may never be answered -- but it doesn't really matter. This superb music is an important part of our Jewish legacy in its own right.

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)
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 1, 2002
Format: Audio CD
This is one of the most outstanding CD's I've heard in years......in fact I did not believe that any one was making records like this anymore The playing is deeply expressive, extraordinarily impassioned, virtuosic, and distinguished.
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
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Miller on October 9, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Although Locker is not widely known yet, he is a remarkable cellist and has recorded an extremely beautiful CD of music related to Jewish themes. Some of the pieces were familiar to me, like Ravel's "Kadish"; others are more obscure but come to life under his fingers.
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.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By David Cohen on December 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I recently received this CD as a gift and was simply overwhelmed by how beautiful it is. The music, the playing, and the recording are all stunning. The interpretations of the well known works are magnificent and the pieces by Zilberts and Meyerowitz are a revelation. I cannot recommend this recording highly enough.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Joseph J. Zuska on November 4, 2002
Format: Audio CD
The playing of Richard Locker is disturbing in that it does not allow you to do anything else while the CD is playing. His tonal beauty and intensity command your entire attention. One realizes immediately that there is substance and meaning in this music. I want to hear more from this gifted, sensitive musician and his equally talented accompanist, particularly from the great library of chamber music.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Ash26 on August 16, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was very excited to purchase this CD. I love Jewish music and cello both, so this seemed perfect. I particularly love Bloch's "Prayer" and Bruch's "Kol Nidre." However, I discovered that I did not love them when Richard Locker played them. If you have never heard another interpretation of these pieces, I would recommend this CD. However, the "Kol Nidre" I fell in love with was played by Jacqueline du Pre and the version of "Prayer" I fell in love with was performed by Sol Gabetta. Richard Locker does not compare. Sometimes his dynamics seem inappropriate, but more often the problem is with tempo...to me it seems he is consistently too fast. Music, particularly Jewish music, should not be a race to the finish. This CD contains great music, and if you have never heard another interpretation of these pieces you would do well to buy it. However, if you are familiar with other interpretations, particularly du Pre's "Kol Nidre" or Sol Gabetta's "Prayer," then I think you will be disappointed.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. J. Senibaldi on March 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful album. The music is beautiful. The musicianship is marvelous. Ernest Bloch is one of my favorite composers. His piece, Prayer, is a very moving piece of music as is the rest of the album.
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