Paul Ben-Haim's works for Violin and Orchestra
A recording of Paul Ben-Haim's works for violin and Orchestra, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and conductor Phillipe Bach, under the BIS label
Imagine a German Ravel, living in the middle east. If I were asked to describe Ben-Haim's music in one sentence, that would be my answer. In a true synthesis of eastern and western cultures, Ben-Haim combines the musical language of the middle east which he heard all around him, such as Arabic songs and Yemenite Jewish prayers, with the German classical tradition. The result is sincere, impeccably written music, and also touching thanks to Ben-Haim's ability to choose exactly the right notes for the write moment, to pick the chord that is painful just enough, without being obvious or melodramatic. I am particularly excited to release the first ever commercial recording of Ben-Haim's Evocation for violin and Orchestra. Written in 1942 in the romantic tradition of Poemes for violin and orchestra, this moving work echoes the tragic events in the world at that time, and attracted the interest of the legendary Jascha Heifetz, who wrote its cadenza.
Clip from Evocation with the Israel Philharmonic and conductor Uri Segal: