Concert to celebrate 80th birthday of Steve Reich
Steve Reich: Different Trains; Clapping Music; City Life; Proverb; Know What is Above You
A concert celebrating Steve Reich’s 80th birthday and his remarkable contribution to contemporary classical music. He is one of a handful of composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history. The minimalist works Different Trains and City Life (performed with visuals) both use amplification alongside samplers and recordings of speech fragments, while Clapping Music has become one of his most famous and accessible works.
“Different Trains” concerns a journey through Reich’s childhood covering the years 1939 to 1942 when he travelled back and forth between New York and Los Angeles with his governess (Reich’s parents were divorced). She is interviewed along with Lawrence Davis, a retired black porter, who worked the trains between New York and Los Angeles. Had Reich been in Europe at this time, his Jewish faith would have caused him to experience very different train journeys, hence the title. The work falls into three movements: America before the war, Europe during the war, and the subsequent post-war situation.
DAVAR members are eligible for a 10% discount on any ticket. Please use the DAVAR code when booking
UK 2015, 95 mins, PG Director David Evans featuruing Philippe Sands, Nilklas Frank, Horst von Wachter
This outstanding documentary about history and guilt from author and human rights lawyer Philippe Sands concerns the two elderly sons of prominent officials in Nazi Germany. Sands interviews Niklas Frank and Horst von Wächter, the sons of Hans Frank and Otto Wächter, respectively (among their other grim distinctions) the Nazi governor of occupied Poland and Nazi governor of Galicia in Ukraine. It becomes disturbingly clear that although Frank Jr has come to terms with what his father did, Wächter Jr is still in denial – wriggling, squirming, trying to claim that his father was not personally guilty. Increasingly angry, Sands confronts him with documentary proof that Otto Wächter had substantial administrative responsibility for the slaughter of Ukrainian Jews, including Sands’s own family. It is a chilling demonstration of how the poison of the past can live in the bloodstream of the present. (amended from Peter Bradshaw’s Guardian review)
Where are the roots of Jewish comedy? What makes a joke Jewish? The Bible has comedy and jokes – not much, but who’s counting? The Talmud and early Rabbinic literature grew a special brand of Jewish humour, as has our experience of Diaspora. Throw in some history, the festival of Purim, struggle, persecution, poverty, Rabbinic discourse and a fear of assimilation, and we find a rich culture of Jewish humour which everybody loves, we hope. And if they don’t, we will make a joke about that too. Before anyone else does….
Maureen Kendler is a Teaching Fellow at the London School of Jewish Studies and has degrees in English Literature and Jewish Education. She is a dedicated Limmudnik and teaches there and internationally on a wide variety of Jewish texts, ancient and modern. She broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 2 “Pause For Thought” and contributes to the Jewish Chronicle “Thought For the Week” column.