Leo Zeitlin - Yiddish Songs, Chamber Music and Declamations | Toccata Classics TOCC0294

Leo Zeitlin - Yiddish Songs, Chamber Music and Declamations


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Label: Toccata Classics

Cat No: TOCC0294

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Release Date: 31st July 2015



The Russian-American composer Leo Zeitlin (1884–1930) was known almost exclusively for 'Eli Zion', a classic of Jewish art-music, published in St Petersburg by the Society for Jewish Folk Music, of which Zeitlin was an important member.

Zeitlin died only seven years after emmigrating to New York, still a young man, and his reputation languished until the recent discovery of a trunk full of scores brought his music back to light.

This album attempts to remedy decades of neglect, especially for his charismatic Yiddish song-settings for voice, strings and piano. Zeitlin’s powerful declamations – Romantic piano music underscoring spoken Yiddish and Russian poetry – points to a genre that once was popular and is now forgotten.

The Musicians of the Pittsburgh Jewish Music Festival are the highest calibre local professionals. Players for the orchestral and chamber-music concerts include members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and faculty members of the music departments from Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne Universities. The Festival was founded in 2004 by the cellist Aron Zelkowicz. In its eleven seasons, it has programmed over 130 pieces of classical chamber and orchestral music inspired by Jewish traditions.

The recordings on this CD series represent a six-year project devoted to the St Petersburg Society for Jewish Folk Music and its Russian composers.

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