Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – Ben-Haim: Symphony No. 1 (2022) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz]

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra - Ben-Haim: Symphony No. 1 (2022) [FLAC 24bit/48kHz] Download

Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – Ben-Haim: Symphony No. 1 (2022)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 27:45 minutes | 274 MB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Deutsche Grammophon (DG)

Lahav Shani, 33, became Music Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in the 2020–21 season as successor to the legendary Zubin Mehta. Also a hugely accomplished instrumentalist, he spent several years as a double bassist within the orchestra’s ranks and appeared as solo pianist with his fellow players aged just 18. He and the orchestra are now set to release a live recording of one of the great landmarks of twentieth-century Israeli music, the Paul Ben-Haim’s Symphony No. 1.Shani’s eloquent interpretation of the symphony highlights the contrasting moods of this three-movement work. Under his baton, the orchestra conveys every last spark of the intense, restless energy of its outer movements, whose turbulence reflects the wartime backdrop against which the symphony was written. Creating an oasis of calm between the two, conductor and orchestra give a wonderfully lyrical reading of the central slow movement, which quotes part of a traditional song from the Persian Jewish community that Ben-Haim had recently arranged for pioneering Israeli folk singer Bracha Tzfira.

Having graduated from the Munich Academy of Music in 1920, served as assistant to Bruno Walter at the Bayerisches Staatstheater and subsequently become Kapellmeister of Augsburg Opera, Paul Ben-Haim had emigrated to Palestine in October 1933, following Hitler’s seizure of power. It was then that he changed his surname from Frankenburger to Ben-Haim, “son of life” in Hebrew. He composed the first of his two Symphonies for the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, predecessor of the IPO, as what he called “a personal expression of thanks” for the work of “this fine body of musicians”. Ben-Haim began drafting the score in August 1939 and completed the work on 20 June 1940. As he stated at its premiere the following January, its music had inevitably been influenced by the tragic events unfolding at the time, even if it did not depict any specific moment in the war.

A work of great beauty and creativity, revealing the varied musical influences its composer had absorbed since leaving Germany as well as its immediate historical context, this was the very first symphony written in his new homeland.

Deutsche Grammophon’s new live recording of Ben-Haim’s Symphony No. 1 marks the welcome return of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra to the yellow label. “More than three decades after our last major releases with Leonard Bernstein, Rafael Kubelík and Zubin Mehta, I am delighted that we are again working with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra on a landmark project”, says Dr. Clemens Trautmann (President of Deutsche Grammophon). “Thanks to the orchestra’s new Music Director, Lahav Shani, the ensemble is now – while still excelling in the established canon of classical works – dedicated to championing less familiar but significant and artistically exciting repertoire. The rediscovery of Paul Ben-Haim, in the 125th year since his birth, is overdue and musically most rewarding in Lahav Shani’s interpretation. It’s remarkable that the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra will share the live experience of this towering work several times on its upcoming US tour, and we feel privileged to offer a beautiful and unique recording to the entire musical world”.


1-1. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – I. Allegro energico (10:09)
1-2. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – II. Molto calmo e cantabile (09:01)
1-3. Israel Philharmonic Orchestra – III. Presto con fuoco (08:34)



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