Music in Libraries

The Great White Way

Description: 

The racial conflicts and religious persecution will be identified in three plays: Porgy and Bess (revival) with music by George Gershwin (1953), West Side Story with music by Leonard Bernstein (1957), and Fiddler on the Roof with music by Jerry Block (1964). The analysis will come largely from a chapter in the book American Musical and the Formation of National Identity by Raymond Knapp. Of particular interest is that all the composers of these musicals were Jewish, along with many of the creators, choreographers, directors, lyricist, etc. Ellen will examine the origins of Fiddler on the Roof as a groundbreaking musical on Broadway with its portrayal of Jewish characters in a shtetl setting and the adaption of the stories of Shalom Aleichem as a musical. She will recommend book titles and suggest library programs (that she has used) for adults and children that are about musicals and their composers.

Author(s): 
Files: 

From Siófok to New York to the American Southwest: The Life, Music, and Personal Library of Emmerich Kálmán, Composer of Arizona Lady

Description: 

The Jewish-Hungarian Emmerich Kálmán (1882-1953) was a celebrated composer of Silver Age operetta. This light, entertaining genre of Viennese musical theater, a precursor of the Broadway musical, was immensely popular at the beginning of the 20th century (1905–1935), as was Kálmán himself. Yet his personal life was not as carefree as his music - he was able to escape Nazi persecutions again and again, but after more than a decade of displacement and itinerancy, the composer’s efforts to revive his career in the United States were defeated. Nothing represents that tragedy better than Kálmán’s last operetta, Arizona Lady (1954), which was nationally premiered in 2015 thanks to a collaboration of Arizona State University’s Center for Jewish Studies with Arizona Opera. The presenter will discuss Kálmán’s life, musical career, and reading preferences as they relate to his lesser-known western-à-la-operetta Arizona Lady.

Author(s): 

Music Cataloging in Jewish Libraries: The Offenbach Collection and Beyond

Description: 

This paper will discuss a current project to catalog the Offenbach collection of sheet music at HUC-JIR New York Campus, as well as the Birnbaum collection in Cincinnati. In working with the physical sheet music for the Offenbach collection and the digitized images provided by colleagues in Cincinnati for the Birnbaum collection, the Repertoire International Des Sources Musicales (RISM), Hebrew Annotated Manuscripts Vol .1, by Israel Adler is used as a guide to the collections. The ultimate goal is to create a website that houses both images of sheet music and metadata in order to help preserve the materials and provide access to those who may be interested in these materials.

Author(s): 
Files: