A member of the Society for Jewish Folk Music in St Petersburg, Leo Zeitlin (1884–1930) was known mainly for Eli Zion, a classic of Jewish art-music. Zeitlin died only seven years after emigrating to New York, still a young man, and his reputation languished until the recent discovery of a trunk full of scores brought his music back to light. This album attempts to remedy decades of neglect, especially for his charismatic Yiddish song-settings for voice, strings and piano. Zeitlin’s powerful declamations – Romantic piano music underscoring spoken Yiddish and Russian poetry – points to a genre that once was popular and is now forgotten.
Musicians of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival: Rachel Calloway, mezzo soprano; Guenko Guechev, baritone and speaker; Daniella Rabbani, speaker; Elisabeth Pridonoff, piano; Luz Manriquez, piano; Dennis O’Boyle, violin; Laura Motchalov, violin; Marylene Gingras-Roy, viola; Isaias Zelkowicz, viola; Aron Zelkowicz, cello
Catalogue No: TOCC0294EAN/UPC: 5060113442949Release Date: 07.08.2015Composer: Leo Zeitlin Artists: Daniella Rabbani, Guenko Guechev, Musicians of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival, Rachel Calloway
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Ken Meltzer :
‘Throughout, Zeitlin reveals his sensitivity to instrumental colors, textures, and voices. His writing consistently achieves an admirable balance between heartfelt emotional expression, and musical proportion and restraint. As a welcome bonus, Zeitlin’s arrangement for mezzo-soprano and string quartet of the beloved Yiddish melody Eli, Eli is juxtaposed with Joachim Stutchewseky’s setting for cello and piano. … the performances of Leo Zeitlin’s music are first-rate from start to finish, as is the recorded sound. The liner notes by Paula Eisenstein Baker (a key figure in the resurrection of the Zeitlin’s music) and Robert S. Nelson provide detailed information on the composer’s life and the featured works. … I think anyone at all curious to explore the work of Leo Zeitlin will not be disappointed. Recommended.’ —Fanfare, November/December 2016
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