Thursday, 4 October 2012

Music in Palestine, Musical Times 1939

From my friend Mischa Horenstein : Please go to his facebook page on Mahler where there's an erudite discussion going on

Music in Palestine
The Musical Times, Vol. 80, No. 1153 (Mar., 1939), p. 225

DURING the summer months a season of popular concerts was given by the Palestine Symphony Orchestra with Jascha Horenstein as chief conductor and Milhaud's 'Suite Provencale' as the principal novelty. The winter season opened later than usual, for owing to the international situation it was impossible for Pierre Monteux to make the journey in October, as originally planned. The subscription season in Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem started in November under Eugen Szenkar, who made such an impression here last year, and proved again to be a convincing interpreter of great music, especially of the romanticists and late nineteenth century works. In his second series of concerts Szenkar had Huberman as soloist in the Beethoven Violin Concerto. It was the first time that Huberman had played with an orchestra after his flying accident last year (when there were fears that he would never recover from his injury). His performance was an experience that no member of the vast audiences in the three towns is likely to forget. In addition Huberman gave recitals, assisted by Angelo Kessissoglu, and a concert with chamber orchestra. Some of these concerts were repeated in some larger settlements.

Another event of importance in Palestine musical life was the first performance here of Mahler's third Symphony (the first Symphony was given in the orchestra's first season under Steinberg). Szenkar conducted the work by heart, and the orchestra, enlarged for the occasion, was at its best. The choir was from the Michael Taube chamber choir, and Vittorio Weinberg, a baritone, sang the alto solo.

Szenkar's last concert brought-apart from Beethoven's fifth-Ravel's second suite from the ballet 'Daphnis and Chloe' and the first performance of a thoroughly uninteresting work-Eugen Zador's 'Capriccio Hongrois.'

Szenkar's farewell-outside the regular series of concerts--was a performance of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, with Elsa Juelich-Taube, Dela Gotthelft, Marcel Noe and Vittorio Weinberg as the vocal quartet, and the choir of the Palestine Oratorio, conducted by Fordhaus Ben Tsissy. The conductors engaged for the rest of the season have been Dobrowen, Szell, Dr. Sargent, and Monteux, who has promised to make up for the cancelled concerts this spring.

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