Spring 2011 Concert

Mark Glanville and Alexander Knapp
A Yiddish Winterreise: Elegy for a Vanished World

© Carol Pratt
  • Terrace Theater
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • Washington, D.C.
  • February 10th, 2011

Concert Summary

British bass baritone Mark Glanville and pianist Alexander Knapp presented the American premiere of the extraordinary song cycle, “A Yiddish Winterreise.” Schubert’s classic love poet is reimagined as a Yiddish wedding singer, fleeing the burning city of Vilna. The songs celebrate the richness of Jewish life and culture with love and humor, while exploring the depths of Jewish tragedy and the loss of a monumental European Jewish civilization. The performance took Yiddish folk songs and turns them into classic German lieder, without stripping them of their original identity and beauty. This startlingly original emotional journey meshes Glanville’s deep knowledge and love of German romantic poetry and lieder with his equal mastery of Yiddish and traditional Jewish music. The pianist, composer and arranger Alexander Knapp, a scholar and expert in Jewish music, has arranged these songs in a masterly stylistic form. “A Yiddish Winterreise” has been met with great acclaim in Britain as a brilliantly creative act of musical memory for our own age.

Concert Program

1. Khosn bazingns (Song for the Groom)
Trad. as sung by Majer Bogdanski
2. S’brent (It’s Burning)
Mordechai Gebirtig, arr. A. Knapp
3. A zemer (A Song)
Samuel Bugatch
4. Vilne (Vilna)
Alexander Olshanetsky, arr. A. Knapp
5. Oyfn pripetshik (By the fireplace)
M. Warschafsky arr. A. Knapp with Chani Haran-Smith
6. Vos vet zayn az moshiakh vet kumen (What will happen when the Messiah comes?)
Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev arr. M. Persin
7. Der rebe hot geheysen freylekh zayn (The Rabbi has told us to be merry)
Traditional arr. Janot Roskin
8. Rozhinkes mit mandlen (Raisins and Almonds)
Abraham Goldfaden arr. A. Knapp
9. Yerusholayim (Jerusalem)
arr. Janot Roskin
10. Di lipe (Der Lindenbaum – The Lime Tree)
Schubert (translated from German to Yiddish by Heather Valencia and Khayele Beer)
11. Tumbalalayke (Play balalaika)
Traditional arr. Alexander Knapp
12. Moyshele mayn fraynd (Moyshele my friend)
Mordechai Gebirtig arr. Harry Anik
13. Hot a yid a vaybele (A Jew has a Wife)
Morris Goldstein arr. Jack Kammen
14. Unter dayne vayse shtern (Under your White Stars)
Abraham Budno (poem by Abraham Sutzkever) arr. Alexander Knapp
15. Khatskele
arr. Janot Roskin
16. Habeit mishomayim (Look down from Heaven)
S. Gozinsky
17. Az der rebe Elimelekh (when Rabbi Elimelech)
Moshe Nadir arr. Alexander Knapp
18. Der zeyger (The Clock)
Trad. arr. Janot Roskin
19. Kinder yorn (Childhood Years)
Mordechai Gebirtig arr. Jack Kammen
20. Kleyner yosem (Little Orphan)
Mordechai Gebirtig arr. Alexander Knapp
21. Un a yingele vet zey firn (And a child will lead them)
Traditional melody arr. Alexander Knapp (words by H. Leivick)
22. Shlof mayn feygele (Sleep my Darling)
Lermontov arr. Janot Roskin (words by Abraham Goldfaden)
23. A malekh vert geboyrn (An Angel is Born)
Mordechai Gebirtig arr. Alexander Knapp
24. Kaddish (Mourner’s Prayer)
Traditional