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Originally a student of communications and teacher of social sciences, Sid Robinovitch is a contemporary composer, among whose works are Jewish-themed classical pieces, arrangements of Ladino folksongs, settings of contemporary poetry, and works for radio and television. A perfect example is Morena, an a cappella arrangement of a Ladino folksong that’s one of several similar settings that form Robinovitch’s choral suite Mosaic of Jewish Folksongs. In this piece, cautious use of open fifths and parallel octaves in alternation with dominant-tonic harmony give clarity to the choral expression and underscores the Sephardi origin. Listen in. (Photo credit: Mary Subedar)
Composed initially as a conducting class exercise, Leon Stein's Three Hassidic Dances (which first appeared on the Milken Archive's critically acclaimed 2006 CD Jewish Music of the Dance) became one of his most admired works. Scored for full orchestra and lasting more than 17 minutes, it reflects the mystic fervor, intensity, and ecstatic states of self-induced joy that are the hallmark of Hassidic religious experience. By contrast, Stein's Adagio & Hassidic Dance for flute and tambourine is simpler and, though joyful, more subdued. Its contemplative and reserved character reminds us of Hassidic music's remarkable diversity. Both works are featured in the newest multimedia volume from the Milken Archive -- Echoes of Ecstasy: Hassidic Inspiration -- which musically explores American Jewry’s attraction to this unique culture in which music and mysticism are an inextricable part of the celebration of life and faith. Listen in. (Photo credit: Paul Hansen Photography)
Soon, another year of pool parties and warm summer barbecues will fade away as we enter the time of reflection. Musician Craig Taubman and his group, Craig & Co. once again offer a way to appreciate that season with their annual Jewels of Elul emails, of which the Milken Archive is a sponsor. Starting the night of August 18, you can receive 29 days of spiritual enlightenment direct to your inbox to celebrate each day in the Hebrew month of Elul. This year’s theme is “The Art of Aging” and the group has asked Herb Alpert, Peter Yarrow and others to share their thoughts. Sign up to receive a free email and stay tuned for Craig & Co.’s High Holy Day collection, featuring music from the Milken Archive.