A Powerful Tribute to Jewish Musical Creativity, in Yiddish and German

March 31 2016

The most recent concert in the acclaimed Pro Musica Hebraica series, entitled Wandering Stars: Two Centuries of European Jewish Song, featured three outstanding vocalists. Sam Hall writes:

The three voices—all deep, expressive, and rich—were those of Mark Glanville, Mathias Hauseman, and Anthony Mordechai Tzvi Russell. Glanville brought to his performance dramatic flair and a virtuosic humor, Hausmann a focused intensity. Russell’s voice—to my ears—was perhaps the most beautiful I have heard in person. The singers were subtle and nuanced in their inflections, powerful but never showy in their emotional intensity. . . .

The choices for the program were selected and arranged with great economy so as tell the story of the Jewish art music associated with the Central European Lieder tradition [based on setting Romantic poetry to music], from its great commencement with Schubert in the 19th century to its passing, along with that of the cultural world that begot it, during and after World War II. We see the Jewish forms of the genre [both] in their internal development and in their relations to the wider culture.

My only regret is that this was a one-time performance—I would want more people to be able to go—but it’s one I’m very happy I got to see.

Read more at DC Metro Theater Arts

More about: Arts & Culture, Jewish music, Music, Pro Musica Hebraica, Yiddish


When It Comes to Peace with Israel, Many Saudis Have Religious Concerns

Sept. 22 2023

While roughly a third of Saudis are willing to cooperate with the Jewish state in matters of technology and commerce, far fewer are willing to allow Israeli teams to compete within the kingdom—let alone support diplomatic normalization. These are just a few results of a recent, detailed, and professional opinion survey—a rarity in Saudi Arabia—that has much bearing on current negotiations involving Washington, Jerusalem, and Riyadh. David Pollock notes some others:

When asked about possible factors “in considering whether or not Saudi Arabia should establish official relations with Israel,” the Saudi public opts first for an Islamic—rather than a specifically Saudi—agenda: almost half (46 percent) say it would be “important” to obtain “new Israeli guarantees of Muslim rights at al-Aqsa Mosque and al-Haram al-Sharif [i.e., the Temple Mount] in Jerusalem.” Prioritizing this issue is significantly more popular than any other option offered. . . .

This popular focus on religion is in line with responses to other controversial questions in the survey. Exactly the same percentage, for example, feel “strongly” that “our country should cut off all relations with any other country where anybody hurts the Quran.”

By comparison, Palestinian aspirations come in second place in Saudi popular perceptions of a deal with Israel. Thirty-six percent of the Saudi public say it would be “important” to obtain “new steps toward political rights and better economic opportunities for the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.” Far behind these drivers in popular attitudes, surprisingly, are hypothetical American contributions to a Saudi-Israel deal—even though these have reportedly been under heavy discussion at the official level in recent months.

Therefore, based on this analysis of these new survey findings, all three governments involved in a possible trilateral U.S.-Saudi-Israel deal would be well advised to pay at least as much attention to its religious dimension as to its political, security, and economic ones.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Islam, Israel-Arab relations, Saudi Arabia, Temple Mount