Violinist Linus Roth is the biggest fan of Polish-born Jewish composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg. He calls ‘The Passenger’ the ‘only Holocaust opera worth watching.’
‘The Passenger,’ a gripping opera set in Auschwitz, was buried by the Soviets and lay dormant for 50 years. The Mieczyslaw Weinberg masterwork finally makes U.S. debut on Saturday.
For background sounds to Jewish American Heritage Month, why not investigate some nostalgic treasures of Hebrew education from a half-century ago, available from Smithsonian Folkways, such as 1958’s “Israeli Children’s Songs” sung by New York native Miriam Ben-Ezra; or a charming 1955 lecture, “The Hebrew Language: Commentary and Readings” by Theodor Herzl Gaster, a UK-born scholar of religion and myth whose books Holy and the Profane: Evolution of Jewish Folkways and Festivals of the Jewish Year are still remembered fondly?
World War II delayed the just appreciation of many wonderful Jewish composers, such as Mieczyslaw Weinberg, a Russian composer who died in 1996. Trio Voce, a gifted piano trio, has nimbly recorded Weinberg’s multifaceted Trio, Op. 24 on Con Brio Recordings, bringing out the composer’s attachment to the works of J. S. Bach.
A November 22nd recital by the noted Latvian-born cellist Yosif Feigelson at New York’s Stephen Wise Free Synagogue is a welcome opportunity to experience the sinuously graceful and dramatic cello music of the Russian composer of Polish-Jewish origin, Mieczyslaw Weinberg.