Sunday, January 26, 2020

it's review time

And here's my coverage of the San Francisco Symphony this week. Observe my controversy-spanning grumble at the overexposure of Beethoven immediately followed by acknowledgment that his work does deserve exposure. And let's see if anyone objects to my saying that the work of the modern composer on the program can descend to excruciating.

The Violins of Hope residency continues, and today I went back to the centrally-located public library meeting room for another lecture on relevant music, this one on resistance songs and poetry from the Vilna ghetto, played at the piano and sung for us in Yiddish. Many of them were remarkably cheerful.

The lecturer concluded by telling us of attending, fairly recently, a Jewish folk music festival in Krakow. Though the musicians were Jewish, there's not much left of a Jewish audience in those regions, so the attendees were mostly Polish Catholics. Intriguing that they'd be interested. One of the performers had sung "We Shall Overcome." In Yiddish. To a Polish Catholic audience. Demonstration at piano followed. It doesn't scan very well.

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