The Schmooze

Monday Music: War and Exile in Washington

“Black woods howl in the stove/Our dog turned into a lion/but today the grownups are/Frowning like a mean witch.” So go the lyrics to Karel Berman’s song “Children at Play” from his 1944 work “Poupata” (Buds), sung by Canadian bass Robert Pomakov.

Berman’s lyrics convey a naïve perspective but were composed for a bass on purpose, according to James Loeffler, research director of Pro Musica Hebraica, an organization that revives neglected Jewish music.

“If the cantor is the sound of a grown man crying, this is the sound of a grown man being reduced to a child,” said Loeffler in a November 18 lecture, “What Is Jewish Classical Music and Why Does It Matter?” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

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Monday Music: War and Exile in Washington

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