Classical music events both before and after Purim (on March 8) focus on dialogues redolent of Yiddishkeit, as New Yorkers and others will discover. On February 10 at Weill Recital Hall pianist Lia Jensen-Abbott will perform Fanny Mendelssohn’s “The Year,” a work inspired by the composer’s relationship with her brother Felix. The Hungarian Jewish composer György Ligeti described his 1951 “Sonata for solo cello” as: “[a] dialogue. Because it’s like two people, a man and a woman, conversing.” Ligeti’s sonata converses on February 10 at Bargemusic with cellist Nicholas Canellakis.
From Sukkot to Hanukkah, this year-end’s Manhattan classical concerts featuring Yiddishkeit contain a remarkable range of music, old and new. “Glamour Girl,” a work by Lukas Ligeti, son of the Hungarian Jewish composer György Ligeti, will be heard on November 5 at Zankel Hall played by The Bang on a Can All-Stars. Ligeti lives in Bushwick but plays in an electronica band based in Burkina Faso. Bang on a Can is anchored by clarinetist Evan Ziporyn, whose website notes his boyhood inspiration derived from listening to his “grandmother’s Yiddish socialist chorus.”
After listening to and viewing a rehearsal for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra’s presentation of “In Seven Days,” the 2008 concerto for piano and moving image by Thomas Adès and Tal Rosner being performed January 7 and 8 at Avery Fisher Hall, I was ready to become a creationist.