NIGUNIM Hebrew Melodies. Gil Shaham, Orli Shaham. Canary Classics

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Nigunum Hebrew Melodies Gil Shaham Orli Shaham Canary Classics

Nigunim

Hebrew Melodies

  • Josef Bonime - Danse hebraïque
  • Joseph Achron - Hebrew Melody, Op. 33
  • Avner Dorman - Nigunim (Violin Sonata No.3)
  • Joseph Achron - Two Hebrew Pieces, Op. 35
  • John Williams - Three Pieces from Schindler’s List
  • Leo Zeitlin (trans. Joseph Achron) - Eli Zion
  • Ernest Bloch - Baal Shem – 3 Pictures of Chassidic Life

Gil Shaham, violin

Orli Shaham, piano

Siblings Gil and Orli Shahams’ new release NIGUNIM is a wonderful and thought provoking offering of Hebrew melodies. Jewish folk music has always played an integral part in the Shaham’s life; as a small child Gil fondly remembers hearing Achron’s Hebrew Melody being sung by his grandparents in Jerusalem. This music, more often than not, vividly evokes troubled origins, the music providing an escape of sorts and the violin the perfect voice which transcends the world from which they sprang. “One very powerful aspect of this music is its soulfulness,” Orli Shaham says; “Regardless of your background, I don’t think you can listen to it without feeling that connection.”

This release includes masterpieces by Ernest Bloch, Joseph Achron, and Leo Zeitlin. They all started their musical lives as child prodigy violinists, as their idiomatic writing for the violin might suggest.
The center-piece of the disc comes from the work sharing the album’s title Nigunim. Commissioned by Gil and Orli from Israeli composer Avner Dorman it shares the universal appeal of the wordless melodies on which it was named. Unlike Bloch, Achron and Zeitlin, Dorman is a composer/pianist and this can be clearly heard in the equality he gives the piano in this engaging 4 movement violin sonata. “He has created a masterpiece and in my experience everybody who hears the piece falls in love with it – they’re electrified by it,” Gil explains. Indeed, when he performed the work, San Diego Today affirmed that “it was hard to miss [its] visceral excitement and structural elegance,” the Boston Globe admiring the “uncommonly intriguing sounds”.

John Williams is the only composer here who does not share the Shahams’ Jewish heritage, but his mastery in the score Schindler’s List is such that according to Orli in this piece “he has absolutely captured the feeling of ghetto life and what that looked like and how people interacted … the pieces included here are so authentic that they are a part of this tradition.”

Orli and Gil’s musical partnership is a lifelong one. The violinist recounts: “Orli and I used to play together at home when we were kids, but we didn’t give concerts together until we were in our 20s.” In addition to countless concert appearances in the recording studio their collaborations include two previous Canary Classics recordings, The Prokofiev Album (CC02) and Mozart in Paris (CC01) and Dvorák for Two (Deutsche Grammophon).

Canary Classics CC10

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Box sets - Depending on the product packaging, box sets are not charged at the full rate.
DVDs are charged as 2 CDs. 

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