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WRTI Spotlight

A Musical Feast for Passover with Itzhak Perlman and More on WRTI

ItzhakPerlman830px.jpg
Lisa Marie Mazzucco
/
Violinist Itzhak Perlman

Passover begins on Friday night at sundown, and Jews around the world will be celebrating the exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt with a special family meal, called a Seder. Join us on WRTI to hear music for Passover and learn more about the holiday.

On Friday, April 15th we’ll feature Passover-related music by Ernest Bloch (cellist Edgar Moreau's new recording of "From Jewish Life"), Jacques Halevy (the prayer from the Seder scene of his opera La Juive), and Salamone Rossi (two settings of psalms from the Song of Songs, which is traditionally read on Passover).

On Saturday, April 16th, Erich Wolfgang Korngold's Passover Psalm will be broadcast on Saturday Morning Classics. Later, from 5 to 6 PM we’ll bring you our annual broadcast of Itzhak Perlman's A Musical Feast for Passover, which you can also hear at this link, followed by The Passover Story, narrated by Theodore Bikel, from 6 to 7 PM on WRTI HD-2.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman shares Passover music from many traditions, plus songs and memories from his childhood in Israel. The program draws its shape from the Passover seder and, like that ancient family ritual, the music gets progressively more gleeful as the show moves along. 

Selections include music from familiar classical works (Handel’s Israel in Egypt), and from lesser-known classical pieces (Halévy’s opera La Juive, with Jan Peerce; Dessau’s 1934 German setting of the Haggadah; Korngold’s glorious Passover Psalm). Perlman’s playing is represented by a duet with Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, as well as the beloved theme from Schindler’s List.

Other recordings include unusual takes on traditional tunes, like a swing “Dayenu,” “Who Knows One?” in Ladino, the zany Moishe Oysher treatment of “Chad Gadya,” and “Go Down, Moses” sung by Paul Robeson.

Then at 6 PM on WRTI HD-2 is The Passover Story, featuring renowned actor Theodore Bikel (recorded before his passing in 2015) and The Western Wind vocal ensemble. They present 25 eclectic selections that, along with an inspiring narration, serve as a musical documentary of Passover. Music includes Hebrew folk melodies, classical European liturgical music, ancient Sephardic chants, Klezmer-style improvisations, and traditional songs from the Seder. This program is for listeners of any religious background and provides a good introduction to a holiday whose lessons of redemption and faith are universal.

Here's an appetizer before the main course!

Program playlist for A Musical Feast for Passover:

Dayenu Variations
Arr. Jon Simon
Jon Simon, piano
Jon Simon Solo Piano
Silver Lining Records
 
He led them through the deep (from Israel in Egypt)
George Frideric Handel
Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists; John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
Israel in Egypt

Ha Lahma Anya
Moishe Oysher; arr. Simon Spiro
Cantor Simon Spiro and Schola Hebraeica
Traditional Cantorial and Concert Favorites

Ma Nishtanah
Jewish Holiday Songs, Vol. 3

Knechte waren wir dem Pharao in Ägypten (from Hagadah Shel Pessach)
Paul Dessau; text by Max Brod
Alfred Muff, bass; North German Radio Choir; Hamburg Alsterspatzen Children’s Choir; Gerd Albrecht, conductor
Hagadah Shel Pessach

Theme from Schindler’s List
John Williams
Itzhak Perlman, violin; John Williams, conductor

Chassidic Medley: Adir Hu/Moshe Emes
Andy Statman, clarinet; David Grisman, mandolin
Songs of Our Fathers

Rally (from The Prince of Egypt)
Hans Zimmer
The Prince of Egypt

Children’s Dance (from Cantata of the Bitter Herbs)
Ernst Toch
Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Cantata of the Bitter Herbs

"Go Down Moses"
Paul Robeson
 
He smote all the first-born of Egypt (from Israel in Egypt)
George Frideric Handel
Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists; John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
Israel in Egypt

The Ten Plagues (from Cantata of the Bitter Herbs)
Ernst Toch
Theodore Bikel, narrator; Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, conductor
Cantata of the Bitter Herbs

He rebuked the Red Sea (from Israel in Egypt)
George Frideric Handel
Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists; John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
Israel in Egypt

But the waters overwhelmed their enemies (from Israel in Egypt)
George Frideric Handel
Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists; John Eliot Gardiner, conductor
Israel in Egypt

Dayenu (swing version)
Sam Medoff and The Yiddish Swingtet
Music from the Yiddish Radio Project
 
Kama Ma’alot Tovot – Dayeinu
Yaffa Yarkoni
Jewish Holiday Songs, Vol. 3
 
O Dieu, Dieu de nos pères (from La Juive)
Jacques Fromental Halévy
Jan Peerce, tenor; Victor Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Wilfred Pelletier, conductor
Lebendige Vergangenheit

Zog, Maran
Shmuel Bugatch; lyrics by Avrom Reisen
Martha Schlamme, singer; Robert DeCormier, conductor
Raisins and Almonds

Chassidic Medley: Adir Hu/Moshe Emes
Andy Statman, clarinet; David Grisman, mandolin
Songs of Our Fathers

T’filas tal
Itzhak Perlman, violin; Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot; Rusell Ger, conductor
Eternal Echoes

Passover Psalm, op. 30
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Bavarian Radio Chorus, Munich Radio Orchestra; Marcello Viotti, conductor
Paradisi Gloria Psalms

"Oh, Freedom"
Odetta
Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues

"Miriam’s Song"
Debbie Friedman
The Journey Continues

Ani Maamin
The Western Wind
The Passover Story

Shir Ha’ma’alot
Yossele Rosenblatt
Best Yiddish Songs

Eliyohu hanovi
arr. Zalmen Mlotek
Children’s Chorus of Workmen’s Circle Schools, Zalmen Mlotek, conductor

Hodu Lashem (Psalm 118)
Rabbi Samuel Elyahu Taub
Benzion Shenker and the Modzitzer Choral Ensemble, Elliot Birnbaum, director
Sholosh R’golim: Modzitzer Melodies

Adir Hu
arr. Moni Amarilio
Yehoram Gaon
Songs for Passover in the Sephardic Tradition

Adir Hu
Shlomo Carlebach and Neginah Orchestra
Yisroel Btach BaHaShem

Ken Supiesse y Entendiesse
Fortuna
La prima vez: kantes judeos espanyoles

Khad Gadyo
arr. Zalmen Mlotek
Children’s Chorus of Workmen’s Circle Schools, Zalmen Mlotek, conductor

Chad Gadya
Shoshana Damari
Greatest Songs

Un Kavritico
Arr. Flory Jagoda
Cantor Gastón Bogomolni
Pesach With an Accent

Chad Gadya [actual track name is “Concluding Folk Hymns”]
Moishe Oysher
Moishe Oysher - Passover Seder, Kol Nidrei & Chanukah Party

Le’Shana Ha’ba’ah
Jewish Holiday Songs, Vol. 3