Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and powerful, 8 Sep 2013
This review is from: Paul Ben-Haim: Symphony No. 1 / Fanfare to Israel / Symphonic Metamorphosis (Audio CD)
I had only come across this composer before in the enjoyable 'Sweet Psalmist of Israel' but his Symphony No 1, in my opinion, is a greater work. Ben Haim, originally called Paul Frankenburger was born in Germany and as a Jew was forced to flee when Hitler came to power. He emigrated to Palestine and is now perhaps considered the most significant Israeli composer. The Symphony is a fine work, containing echoes of Respighi, Bloch and Richard Strauss as well as occasional pre-echoes of Hollywood biblical film scores. Above all, it is memorable and moving and as soon as I first heard it I immediately wanted to play it again. First performed in 1941 it can't fail to reflect the times of its composition in view of the fact that it was written by a Jewish composer who had been forced to flee the land of his birth. There is a strong sense of looming threat and impending catastrophe, which is touchingly juxtaposed against hymn-like assertions of faith, which I find very moving. The cover art is, in my view, incredibly apt - a 1990 painting by Zvi Mainovitzar of a group of Orthodox Jews under a lowering sky. The Symphony, however, ends in triumph. I did not expect too much from the 'Fanfare for Israel' anticipating a predictable ceremonial work, and it certainly starts off that way; however, after a minute a beautiful hymn tune appears, which again I found very moving and which stayed in my mind afterwards. In many ways this would have been more appropriately entitled 'Hymn to Israel'. The 'Symphonic Metamorphoses on a Bach Chorale' is less emotional and provides a fine conclusion to the CD. Super performances by the NDR Radio-Philharmonic of Hannover under their fine conductor Israel Yinon. A fine production all round. Don't hesitate. There is an equally enjoyable Second Symphony available on CD if you like this as much as I have.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

5.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)
5 star:
 (1)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Sussex UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,539