Jewish Musical Modernism, Old and New
Tackling the myriad issues raised by Sander Gilman’s provocative opening salvo—”Are Jews Musical?”—this volume’s distinguished contributors present a series of essays that trace the intersections of Jewish history and music from the late nineteenth century to the present.
Covering the sacred and the secular, the European and the non-European, and all the arenas where these realms converge, these essays recast the established history of Jewish culture and its influences on modernity. Mitchell Ash explores the relationship of Jewish scientists to modernist artists and musicians, while Edwin Seroussi looks at the creation of Jewish sacred music in nineteenth-century Vienna. Discussing Jewish musicologists in Austria and Germany, Pamela Potter details their contributions to the “science of music” as a modern phenomenon. Kay Kaufman Shelemay investigates European influence in the music of an Ethiopian Jewish community, and Michael P. Steinberg traces the life and works of Charlotte Salomon, whose paintings staged the destruction of the Holocaust. Bolstered by Philip V. Bohlman’s wide-ranging introduction and epilogue, and featuring lush color illustrations and a complementary CD of the period’s music, this volume is a lavish tribute to Jewish contributions to modernity.