“Klezmer Suite” for Cl., Vla, D-B and Piano is the condensed Chamber Music version of my orchestral piece “Encounters IV-Suita Concertante for Classical Violin, Klezmer Violin and Chamber Orchestra”. This shortened version of the orchestral piece lasts app. 12’.
The piece is dedicated to my late father Daniel who was a superb musician and a wonderful Klezmer, playing Violin, Clarinet and Saxophone.
This is another one in a chain of pieces I've already written in the past-including my pieces for the Arabic Oud- which tries to bridge between different musical cultures. In this case it's the ethnic, folk-like klezmer tradition alongside that of the classical concert hall tradition.
The piece is written in one long movement, which flows from one mood to another, trying to reflect different emotional states.
I've used quite a few magnificent klezmer tunes and dances and added some original ones which I've invented.
Writing such a piece for me was a way to connect to the deepest and even primordial layers of my memories as an infant and a child. It deeply reflects my innermost beliefs as a Jewish musician and as a human being.
Commissioned by the “Council for Culture and Art".
This is the original version of my piece, for Vlc & Piano, which was developed later to become my Cello Concerto.
The title is drawn from the wonderful poetic verse, which is part of the prayer for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur):
”Like the clay in the hand of the potter:
Who thickens or thins it at his will,
So are we in Thy hand, gracious God,
Forgive our sin, Thy covenant fulfil."
The special reciprocal relations which develop between the potter and the clay (the creator and the material) give a kind of conceptual frame to my work, in which the soloist assumes the role of the "potter" and the piano is the "clay".
In the course of the short piece (8`) the listener witnesses the progression of relations between the creator and his spiritual creation, from the first moment of it's coming into being; through the struggle to give the formless matter the desired clear and distinct shape. From the state of contention the relations change into one of complete identification of the creator with his material, and this symbiosis frees the constraints of the material. It finds independence within the space and becomes its own master. What remains is an echo - the material gradually disappears, it evaporates leaving the creator drained… until his next composition.
In spite of all these, the piece shouldn't be seen as programme music having a plot or describing anything, but rather represents pure and abstract music, which can stand on its own merits and listen to without all my private poetic connotations.
The work is written in expressive and chromatic language but a tonal center can be discerned (the tone C). It is based on the sound which derives from an ascending row of tones at intervals which grow from a small second to a small six.
"Homage to Sasha Argov" is a kind of orchestral suite consisting of my arrangements to five of his most celebrated songs, here in a chamber version commissioned by the Israeli Chamber Project.
Choreography: Mimi Ratz-Wiesenberg
Music: Menachem Wiesenberg – A Quintet for Percussion & String Quartet
Stage Designer: Zvi Lachman
Lighting Designer: Felice Ross
Dancer: Anna Weissman
"Reverberations" - My piece "reverberations" for Piano and Clarinet is dedicated to the wonderful Clarinet player Chen Halevi who commissioned it. The title refers to the physical phenomenon of reverberations especially of the Piano. These reverberations are produced either by playing the Piano itself or by the clarinet playing into the Piano sounding board thus awaking the Piano strings to react in echoing the clarinet lines. In a way the Piano plays itself in this case without the Pianist intervention. For me though, this acoustical phenomenon has a deeper and more symbolic meaning as our memory and our emotional reactions are based on reverberations of our life experiences. So I've tried to express these layers of echoing within my psyche, using my own musical material combined with an old Jewish Yom Kippur Prayer which I love.