Thursday, April 19, 2018

Huberman and Friedman: Beethoven ‘Kreutzer’ Sonata

Yom Ha’atzmaut


Bronislaw Huberman [1882–1947] & Ignaz Friedman [1882–1948] perform Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” Sonata, known as Violin Sonata No. 9, opus 47, published in 1803. Both were born in Poland; both were Jewish.
Via: Youtube


You can enjoy the music, which is wonderful, but there is also something more important that needs to be said to set the record straight. Huberman was and is a great humanitarian who acted courageously in the face of tyranny, totalitarianism and evil, doing what good men always do. Huberman founded the Palestine Symphony Orchestra in 1936. This orchestra became the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1948 after the founding of the State of Israel, on May 14, 1948, or 5 Iyar 5708, Yom HaAtzmaut. Huberman’s dream not only produced a world-class orchestra, but resulted in the rescue of nearly 1,000 European Jewish musicians and their families from the Nazi death machine. The first concert was on December 26, 1936 (you can listen here to a rare clip); it was conducted by Arturo Toscanini, who was fiercely anti-fascist, who was fiercely humane. “I am doing this for humanity,” Toscanini said, declining any fee. That a small nation wanted an orchestra says  much about that nation. The story is told in “Orchestra of Exiles,” a 2012 documentary by Josh Aronson; you can view a trailer [here]. For more on the Jewish People’s fight for freedom and independence, go [here] and [here] and [here] and [here].

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