Concert Review: Out of the Whirlwind

May 6, 2019 21:57
Concert Review: Out of the Whirlwind

Max Stern: Out of the Whirlwind. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Max Stern: Out of the Whirlwind
Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi Institute
May 2

The World Premiere of a new Israeli work, Max Stern’s cantata “Out of the Whirlwind” was performed at the Ben-Zvi Institute on Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The work focuses on the fate and texts of children who were victims of the Holocaust in Theresienstadt and other camps, expressing their hopes and fates. The music sounds appropriately painful and depressive, with many angular and parlando-style melodies. Psalm verses, such as “I lift my eyes to the mountains,” have no Mendelssonian sweetness, but sound like an invocation toward a non-listening superior being. The “Kaddish” (prayer chant for the deceased) might have been the work’s moving climax, but was followed by an anti-climactic prayer chant.

Amalia Itzhak’s clear, radiant soprano; Yoram Chaiter’s sonorous bass-baritone; and conductor Leonti Wolf’s excellently rehearsed Tel Aviv Philharmonic choir did their very best to ensure an impressive performance.

The work will be most suitable for future Holocaust Remembrance Day performances.

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