Professor Jenna Weissman Joselit Reviews Our Spring Concert

Professor Jenna Weissman Joselit of George Washington University reflects on last week’s concert, Jewish Baroque Treasures from Italy and Amsterdam:

Last Monday night, May 13th, the Apollo Ensemble performed at the Kennedy Center, bringing this member of the audience to tears more than once. The group’s bravura musicianship had something to do with my heightened emotional state, as did the beauty of the music. Digital projections of the musical compositions, some bearing the cameo-like stamp of the Etz-Hayim Library, also tugged at my heart-strings, while the incisive program notes composed by Professor James Loeffler of the University of Virginia made me want to learn more.

But what really struck me — and hard — was the sense that this particular concert was itself a composition of layers, whose structure was built on the multiple strands that make up the Jewish experience: Creative energy, loss, rediscovery, preservation, translation, reinterpretation and the prospect of renewal.

Read the rest here.