In celebration of Jewish music month, Paradigm Concerts presented a pair of concerts featuring an exciting program of music by Jewish composers. Joel Rosenberg, director of these concerts who also both played viola and conducted, did an outstanding job in selecting music that combined well-known with lesser-known works.
One of the major works on the program was "Nishmat Adam" ("The Soul of Man") by the contemporary American composer Robert Starer. This work is a very strong, personal statement by the composer affirming his ethnic/religious identity."Nishmat Adam" is an exciting work that's intense yet very melodic. It was performed by violist Rosenberg, pianist Marjorie Janove, soprano Julie Wright and narrated by Rabbi Frederick Wenger. These four performed this work with an emotional charge that brought out the spiritual strength of this work.
The other large work on the program was Aaron Copeland's "Appalachian Spring" in its version for chamber orchestra. It's interesting to note that this was the first performance in Utah of the complete ballet score.
Rosenberg conducted an ensemble of outstanding musicians in this performance. They did a tremendous job with the music, and the string section especially had a great sound, combining well with the woodwinds. Rosenberg, too, was in top form conducting, achieving very balanced play from these musicians. Seldom has a chamber orchestra sounded as well as this group did at these concerts.
The other works on the program were four songs by Leonard Bernstein, a song cycle by Erich Wolfgang Korngold, titled "Songs of the Clown" and Kurt Weill's "Lost in the Stars." The pieces by Bernstein and Korngold were performed beautifully by Wright and Janove, and Wright teamed up with the chamber orchestra in a fine performance of the Weill piece.
In short, this was a memorable concert performed by a group of truly outstanding and talented musicians.