Thanksgiving and Chanukah Concert
At the present time, people are too busy and completely absorbed into their work forgetting that there are other joys of life, like music. As for me, I am not an exception of the rules. Leaving behind all my troubles, I headed for Brooklyn. This is a place that inspires and calms me. There, I saw an announcement about the concert devoted to Thanksgiving Day.
On Saturday evening, on the 28 November, at 7 p.m., I had an opportunity to attend Barge music. It is a place where one can enjoy different kinds of music. It is located in Brooklyn, New York. The whole performance made my heart beat quicker, which stirred up only positive feelings and made everybody recollect their romantic memories. With the bated breath and happy looks, the audience was listening attentively to an orchestra. At the concert, there were the viewers representing both young and old generations. In spite of the fact that many years have passed, classical music has managed to overstep generations; and it continues to rejoice music lovers. As for me, I was not a professional listener and even not an amateur. I was a person whose soul demanded something new. This was my curiosity and desire to forget about the grey reality that had led me there.
This was the concert performance devoted to Thanksgiving and Chanukah. It means that for everybody who respects American traditions and customs it was a special occasion. In spite that it was a secular event, it created the atmosphere of something divine and unnatural. Both men and women could admire this spectacular. It was like a celebration of Thanksgiving Day. However, it was an unusual way of celebrating this holiday, a very unusual one. The performers were the real professionals that could not fail to admire their music and talent. The music was composed; and the music works were planned in advance that is why I was knowledgeable of the program of this concert.
The concert was in Barge music in New York. Music was performed by a vocal ensemble “The Western Wind.” Michele Kennedy and Linda Lee Jones are sopranos, Todd Frizzell is tenor, William Zukof is countertenor, Elliot Z. Levine is baritone and guitar, and David Vanderwal is tenor as well. As to the audience, it was of different gender, ethnicity and class. I think that it was different because all people celebrated and respected Thanksgiving and Chanukah. This concert was a performative one rather than participatory.
The vocal ensemble “The Western Wind” performed music devoted to Thanksgiving and Chanukah. The most interesting fact is that this year Thanksgiving and Chanukah coincide. “The Western Wind” devoted this concert to this unique event. The program consisted of a humorous Thanksgiving Anthem by William Billing, early Baroque Psalm settings by Heinrich Schutz, Renaissance Hebrew Psalm settings by Salamone Rossi, Yiddish and Ladino from both the Eastern European and Sephardic traditions. There was Elliot Z. Levine’s setting and a delightful selection of Chanukah songs in English.
The greatest impression I have got from Thanksgiving Anthem of William Billings. This is an orchestral work. It has created the festive and elevated atmosphere; and I felt myself as if I were in the wonderful world of music. The function of this performance was to make audience absorb in the world of music, create a magic and festive atmosphere and encourage the audience to respect the traditions of celebrating these holidays. Thanksgiving Anthem is built on the notes of elevation, joy and light. It is triumphant and in spite that this music work is choral, it is even the humorous one.
This work is very gentle and emotional. It is classical and harmonic. The melody is rhythmic, but this rhythm is unusual. In the work, fast-moving moments alternate with the humorous, light, elevated and triumphant ones. The dynamics of this work is quiet and gentle. It is the music work for an organ that is why it sounds triumphantly. The fugue is in four voices and G minor. One can refer this music work to church music. The compositional style is very profound.
Early Baroque Psalm by Heinrich Schutz is also a religious music work. It is a powerful, sophisticated and dramatic work. The audience was charmed, inspired and elevated as the performance was really exciting.
I was greatly impressed by the originality of the melody of Renaissance Hebrew Psalm by Salamone Rossi. It sounded untraditionally and absolutely refreshingly. It is evident that this music work was influenced by its orientation.
The performance was created for an entertainment and for honoring of Thanksgiving and Chanukah. The audience expected to get many unforgettable impressions; and they were really satisfied with the concert. I liked everything in the musicians’ playing. They are professionals and passionate lovers of music. The musicians gave themselves up to the audience completely. They created a fantastic atmosphere. Their performance was so exciting that one could forget about everything in the world except music.