The Green Library Listening Closely: Music Lecture Series. is returning for the fall 2017 semester!
Wednesday, February 7th, 4pm, Samuel Zerin, NYU, "Intertextuality in Russian-Jewish Chamber Music," GL 835
At the dawn of the 20th century, a group of young Russian-Jewish composers sought to develop a uniquely Jewish style of classical music. In doing so, they drew not only on music of the past but also on each other's compositions. Musicologist Samuel Zerin will discuss two ways that they did this. First, he will demonstrate how a virtuosic piano fantasia by Hirsch Kopyt (1909), based on the Jewish folk melody "Oy Chanukah, Oy Chanukah," served as a model for later works by Joseph Achron (1913), Leo Zeitlin (1929), and Joachim Stutschewsky (1934). Second, he will analyze a core set of motifs, based on Jewish Biblical chant, that appear in secular and religious works by a range of Jewish composers from the 1910s-1940s. These two examples challenge us to view Jewish art music not only as an ethnographic project that looked backward in time, but as a fundamentally creative and dynamic movement that developed its own personalities and traditions.