MP3 Ron Merhavi & Ariel Halevy - Make it Double
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12 MP3 Songs in this album (69:14) !
Related styles: Classical: Contemporary, Classical: Sonata, Solo Instrumental
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Make it Double
Ron Merhavi, double bass
Ariel Halevy, piano
1 Jan Freidlin Menuet-Marionatte (2010)
2-4 Eyal Bat Three Thoughts (2009)
(b. 1966) Eyal Bat, piano
5-7 Yehezkel Braun Sonata for bass and piano (2003)
II De Profundis
8 Moshe Rasiuk Longings (2010)
9 Sofia Gubaidulina Sonata for double bass and piano (1975)
10 Daniela Cohn-Levitas Andante for double bass and piano (2003/ 2010)
11 André Hajdu Kaddish (1984/ 2010)
(b. 1932) André Hajdu, piano
12 Jan Freidlin Mist over the Lake (1985/ 2009)
Jan Freidlin was born in Chita (Southern Siberia) in 1944 and lived in Odessa (Ukraine), where he studied piano and composition at the Odessa Music College and the Odessa State Conservatory. Later he taught in the Odessa Stolyarsky special Music College, where he served as head of the theory department. In 1990 Jan Freidlin emigrated to Israel. He taught at the Israeli Music Academy, Tel-Aviv University and since 1991 at the Levinsky College of Education in Tel-Aviv. Freidlin's CelloConcerto (1995) was performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gennadi Rozhdestvensky with cellist Micha Haran. Poem of the Contrasts (2007) was commissioned by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and premiered by the IPO under the baton of Zubin Mehta in Tel-Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem. Freidlin's chamber works have been performed with success in Europe, Japan, the US, Australia and elsewhere. His compositions won numerous prizes in the USSR, Bulgaria, Israel and the US.
His music has been recorded on CDs in various countries, including France and the US.
Jan Freidlin writes:
Minuet â Marionette was written for Ron Merhavi after I had listened to his delightful double bass solo sound, and the various amazing technical possibilities of the instrument .This piece is dedicated to him. It is in the form of a neoclassic minuet, a "game" between the marionette and the puppeteer. Nevertheless I don't insist on this interpretation. Everyone may imagine whatever he/she likes.
Eyal Bat is one of the leading composers of vocal music in Israel. More than 200 of his vocal works and arrangements have been performed worldwide by prominent Israeli choirs such as Moran, Ha'efroni, Bat-kol, Philharmonic Choir and Ramat Gan Chamber Choir. These works are often included in programs and concerts of major international competitions and festivals such as the Tolosa competition in Spain, the Arnhem competition in Holland and the Abu-Gosh festival in Israel. Maestro Gabor Hollerung has conducted Eyal's arrangements of Ladino songs in a concert in Tel-Aviv.
Eyal holds a Master's degree in Composition from Bar-Ilan University. Among his professors were composers André Hajdu, Betty Olivero and Gideon Lewensohn. In addition, Eyal is a graduate of the Levinsky College of Education in Tel-Aviv, with a major in Music Education.
Apart from his vocal works, Eyal has composed music for chamber ensembles, orchestras and for the theater. A large part of his work is dedicated to children â two such works were performed by the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. For many years Eyal has been working as a piano accompanist for several choirs. His playing, along with some of his compositions, was recorded for radio, TV and CDs.
Eyal is the recipient of several awards and scholarships.
Eyal Bat writes:
In the past 60 years, the double bass has proved to be a fertile medium for fascinating encounters between modern jazz and modern classical music. Since the 1950's sophisticated jazz has inspired many modern works for the bass. The same was true also in the opposite direction, when jazz improvisation, influenced by classical music took a further step towards modernity. Following this path, I wanted to create a piece that would unfold the tension between the lyric and the dramatic, even mechanical, aspects of the bass. Its three movements are very different in character and style, yet together they create, I believe, a unity of double bass-piano sound.
I would like to thank Ron Merhavi, whose unique and intelligent interpretation has inspired me to compose this piece.
Composer Yehezkel Braun immigrated to Israel at the age of two. He is a graduate of the Israeli Academy of Music in Tel-Aviv and holds a Master's degree in Classical Studies from Tel-Aviv University. Braun's main academic interest focuses on a comparative study of traditional Jewish Melos and of Plainsong. A Professor Emeritus at the Tel-Aviv University, in 2001 Yehezkel Braun was awarded the prestigious Israel Prize in Music. In 2003 he was honored as a Distinguished Citizen of Tel-Aviv.
Ron Merhavi writes:
The Sonata for bass and piano was written in the summer of 2003 at my request, for my third dissertation recital at the School of Music at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where it was premiéred with Martin Katz at the piano on October 2004. Ever since I have performed the Sonata several times in Israel with Ariel Halevy. In 2007 Braun accepted my commission and wrote Primeval Images, released on my solo CD One on One.
Yehezkel Braun's music highlights melodic-modal elements rather than pure harmony; the harmony is for the most part an outcome of the melodic lines and of the voice leading. This sonata is no exception. Braun utilizes the entire range of the double bass. It is not a sonata for an accompanied instrument, as the bass and the piano are treated as equal parts, sharing the same importance.
Moshe Rasiuk was born in Haifa, 1954. He is a graduate of the Israeli Academy of Music and the Tel-Aviv University Department of Musicology, where he is currently completing his PhD. In 1982 his work Kadim won the first prize in a competition for young composers, initiated by the Israeli Sinfonietta Orchestra, Beer Sheva, directed by Mendi Rodan. Since then the piece has been performed by leading Israeli orchestras, among them the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Zubin Mehta, including a concert tour in Australia. In 1998, celebrating Israel's 50th anniversary, Kadim was played in a festive concert in Finland, conducted by Osmo Vänskä, and later on was recorded for the WDR German radio.
Rasiuk's Avoda Zara received the ACUM prize in 1991, and since then has been performed by the Haifa Symphony Orchestra, the Century Orchestra in Osaka, Japan, the IPO and the Novosibirsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Russia.
Among Moshe Rasiuk's vocal pieces are The Market Street, for choir, performed by the Cameran Singers conducted by Avner Itai and later on by the BBC singers in London, Kikar Sdom for choir and percussion, recipient of the Engel prize for original Israeli work (1991), Vision of Dry Bones, commissioned by the 16th Zimriya (World assembly of choirs in Israel), Morning winds, for children's choir, and others.
Moshe Rasiuk is a recipient of the 1995 Prime Minister's Award for Composers.
Moshe Rasiuk writes:
The piece Longings for double bass and piano was commissioned by Ron Merhavi. In the piece there are two motives that characterize every longing: pain and hope. The pain motif is expressed by long lines with chromatic touches, while the hope motif is expressed by leaps and further rhythmic character. The two motives appear alternately and simultaneously.
My point of origin was the idiomatic writing for the double bass: one note â G â that opens the piece and appears as an organ point in âtwo voicesâ, one in an âopenâ string and the other in a âheldâ string that moves chromatically around the same note. Against the double bass, the piano plays the rhythmic motif. Towards the end the roles swap and the chromatic motif appears in the piano, yet this time with chords in a wide range, letting gateway for hope.
Sofia Asgatovna Gubaidulina (accent on the third syllable of her surname) was born in 1931 in the Tatar city of Chistopol to a Tatar Muslim father and a Russian mother of Jewish descent. Although she defines herself as Russian Orthodox, she also identifies with other religions and faiths and is influenced by Russian mystic philosophers.
Guabidulina's music brought her into confrontation with the Soviet socialist-realist regime: her affinity to the worlds of metaphysics, mysticism and religious symbolism, and her assertion that all of her compositions are, in some way, religious, were anathema to the Soviet authorities. From the 1980's Gubaidulina began to be recognised outside Russia, in particular following the performance of her violin concerto Offertorium, dedicated to Gidon Kremer, who performed it in Europe and the US. In 1985 she visited the West for the first time, and since then commissions for chamber and orchestral works have poured in. In the 1990s she left Russia and moved to Germany, where she settled near Hamburg.
While studying piano and composition at the Moscow Conservatoire in the 1950's, Gubaidulina composed film music as a means of supporting herself financially. This enabled her to experiment with unusual instrumental ensembles and novel techniques of performance and sound production.
The Sonata for bass and piano was composed in 1975 but did not receive its premiere in Moscow until April 1978. This piece is published by Sikorski Music Publishers (Germany).
Gubaidulina, who has included the double bass in quite a few of her works, notes: âIn the 70's I was interested in the concepts of interval and colorâ¦ I explored novel ways of sound production in different instruments and wrote music for unusual instrumental combinations: concerto for bassoon and low strings; music for double bass, harp and percussion.â
The deep timbre of the double bass influences the whole sonata, including the piano part, which is not naturally âpianisticâ; instead of clearly defined chords, scale runs or idiomatic piano passages, there are dense clusters of notes in the lower register of the piano, rich with overtones, or on the other hand thinly structured chromatic formations in the upper reaches of the piano, removed from the double bass.
Gubaidulinaâs music is highly original, perhaps due to its spiritual foundation; her varied palette of colors explores eccentric use of the widest range of sound production possibilities. This translates itself in the double bass sonata through techniques such as col legno (tapping on the string with the wood of the bow rather than the hair); ricochet (throwing the bow onto the string strong enough for it to bounce off); sul ponticello (playing lightly with the bow near to the bridge which produces a âwhite noiseâ); simultaneous glissando and pizzicato and other devices, within a wide range of dynamics.
The opening of the sonata and a significant part of it is in the quintuple meter which characterizes Russian folk and art song. The work itself, in one movement, moves between melodic lyricism and chromaticism that blurs any clear tonality. It is faithful to the Sonata in its concept of a dialogue (unusual in this case) between the double bass and the piano; however, the perception of time in this piece is different from that to which we are accustomed in the West.
Daniela Cohn-Levitas is a graduate of the Israeli Academy of Music, Tel-Aviv University, where she studied with Abel Ehrlich and Josef Dorfman. She completed her Master's in composition at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance under Tzvi Avni, and studied at the Frankfurt Music Academy with Rolf Riehm. Daniela's compositions have been performed at concerts, festivals and competitions in Israel, Canada, U.S., Europe and elsewhere. They include pieces for piano, chamber, symphonic and choral music. Western music tradition exerts a strong influence on the form, harmony and texture of her works. In addition to composing, Daniela teaches composition, harmony and music theory in a high school.
Daniela Cohn-Levitas writes:
Andante for double bass and piano
The work was originally written for violin and piano, and I have arranged it for Ron Merhavi. The original piece is the slow lyrical second movement of my Sonata no. 2 for violin and piano, written in the summer of 2003. The work, published by the Israeli Music Center â Israel Composers' League, has been performed many times in concerts in Tel-Aviv and in broadcast concerts. The movement is lyrical and built in a traditional ABA form, with clear phrases, symmetrical for the most part.
André Hajdu was born in Hungary and studied at the Liszt Music Academy in Budapest with Ernö Szegedi (piano) and Zoltan Kodály (ethnomusicology), among others. In 1956 he moved to Paris, continuing his studies at the Conservatoire with Darius Milhaud (composition) and Olivier Messiaen (philosophy of music). Since 1966, Hajdu has been living in Jerusalem, teaching at the Tel-Aviv Music Academy as well as Bar-Ilan University, serving in the latter as head of the Music Department and founder of the Composition Department. Hajdu has published articles, transcriptions and arrangements dealing with Klezmer and Hassidic Music. This repertoire has inspired many of his works, which deal with broader aspects of Jewish thought as well as Jewish history, such as Dreams of Spain (1991), a cantata, describing the 1492 expulsion of the Jews from Spain. Hajdu's unique Jewish thought merges ancient roots with a modern, personal concept. A great deal of his output is artistic piano pedagogy compositions. In 1997, Hajdu was awarded the Israel Prize for his composition, research and teaching.
Ron Merhavi writes:
André Hajdu was a teacher of mine at the Israel Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem. I was delighted when he accepted my commission for a work for double bass and ensemble, Shadows and Echoes, also called Insomnia Noctis (2004), composed for my last Dissertation recital in Michigan and released on Retroportrait, a collection of works by Hajdu (2005), as well as Mimes and Pantomimes (2008) for my solo CD One on One.
André Hajdu writes:
In its original version, this excerpt was written for tenor voice accompanied by chamber orchestra, a setting on the words of the Kaddish prayer of mourning: Yitgadal veyitkadash shmey raba... (Glorified and sanctified be God's great name). It is part of a major work, the Cantata Cycles of Life, which I composed some 25 years ago.
This Cantata was commissioned by Manfred Lehman of New York, to immortalize the memory of his only son, who had passed away at early age.
The idea was to compose a kind of a Jewish Requiem on texts from the liturgy which reflect the course of the life of a human, from birth to death.
This Kaddish opens the concluding part of the piece, called Resignation. Unlike the pleasant and tuneful traditional tunes and cantorial excerpts on the words of the Kaddish, my intention was to write something quite different: a dramatic and obsessive repetition on the same note, creating a sense of helplessness against the power of death.
Since its 1984 premieré, Cycles of Life has been performed in Israel and in the US. The Kaddish has also been performed by singers as a separate piece.
It is the first time that I have gained the strength to arrange the piece for a solo instrument, at the request of Ron Merhavi. Ron's double bass will have to deal with an uneasy assignment: to express the essence of the Kaddish without using its words...
Jan Freidlin writes:
Mist over the Lake has become a most popular piece. That's why after many requests I have written several arrangements for various solo instruments accompanied by guitar, harp or piano. This piece is published by Edition Orphee (USA).
I have to admit that I really saw the scenery which inspired me to compose it. I suddenly saw a miraculous place, near Kiev, with a mist over a small hidden forest lake surrounded by pine trees. I was so astonished that I was simply forced to paint or compose it. This vision is in my mind.
Ron Merhavi was born in Givatayim, near Tel-Aviv, 1975.
In 1993 he graduated from the Israeli Arts and Science Academy in Jerusalem, where he studied double bass with Michael Klinghoffer, with whom he continued his studies at the Israeli Music Academy, Tel-Aviv University, combined with musicology and education. Ron is a recipient of the America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship.
In 2001 Ron completed his M.A. with a thesis dealing with Sofia Gubaidulina's Sonata for double bass and piano. At the Music in the Valley summer institute for strings in Kibbutz Mizra, he got acquainted with Diana Gannett, his Professor at the University of Michigan School of Music, 2002-2004. While at Michigan, Ron served as Diana Gannett's Graduate Student Instructor, participated in numerous concerts in the Ann Arbor vicinity and performed three Dissertation Recitals, sharing the thread The Lyric Bass.
Currently Ron is program director at the Jerusalem Music Centre, music editor at The Voice of Music classical radio station of the Israel Broadcast Authority, producer and player. In 2009 he launched his CD One on One, a variety of music for double bass solo.
Ariel Halevy was born in Jerusalem, 1976. He studied with Ilana Gutman at the Rubin Conservatory in Jerusalem, Prof. Victor Derevianko at the Israeli Music Academy, Tel-Aviv University, and Nina Svetlanova and Diane Walsh at the Mannes College of Music in New York.
He also studied with Madeline Bruser, Hanah Shalgi and Jonathan Zak.
Ariel is a recipient of scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation.
He has played for many renowned pianists including Murray Perahia, András Schiff and Claude Frank among others.
He has participated in some of the world's leading music festivals, such as Aspen, Music Academy of the West, Fontainbleau, IKI, Tel-Hai, Voice of Music in the Upper Galilee etc.
Ariel performs frequently in Israel as soloist and in chamber music, including the Etnachta series at the Jerusalem Theatre and Youth at the Centre at the Jerusalem Music Centre, both broadcast on The Voice of Music.
Ariel Halevy is currently on the faculties of the Israel Arts and Science Academy, Hassadna conservatory, and the Jerusalem Conservatory of Music and Dance, all located in Jerusalem.
Production: Ron Merhavi
Supported by the Israel Ministry of Culture & Sport
Recorded at the Jerusalem Music Centre,
14.09.2009, 29.04.2010, 11.11.2010
Recording: Zvika Hirshler, Idan Peleg
Editing and mastering: Zvika Hirshler
Recording supervision and digital mastering, tracks 5-7: Uri Dror
Mastering: Zvika Hirshler, Amir Eitan
Liner notes: Ron Merhavi, Hanucca 2010
English text editing: Sara Manobla
Graphic design: Dana Shimoni and Yuval Capsouto
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