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Piano Music from Israel

NEOS 11025CD NEOS 11025CD

2012 release. Featured works: Josef Tal, 'Cum mortuis in lingua mortua' (1945) and 'Essay II' (1988), Tzvi Avni, 'Epitaph' (1979) and 'From My Diary' (2001), Gil Shohat, 'Three Improvisations on Paintings' (1989) and 'The Kiss of Salome' (1993). The works on this CD were composed in Israel between 1945 and 2001. They span an era antedating the founding of the state of Israel and extending into the recent past. They were written by composers of different generations. Josef Tal, the son of a rabbi, was born in Pniewy near Pozn n, Poland, in 1910. He grew up and studied in Berlin, left Nazi Germany in 1934 and emigrated to Greater Israel with a degree in composition, harp and piano. Tzvi Avni was born as Hermann Steinke in Saarbrucken, Germany, in 1927. When the Saar region was annexed to Germany in 1935 he emigrated with his parents via Switzerland to present-day Israel. As his father was abducted and killed in 1936, he had to help support his family from an early age and was unable to start music lessons until he was 16. Through self-instruction he managed to attain a university degree and to pursue a career as a composer. Both Tal and Avni were actively involved in establishing Israel's musical life, working in many capacities and constantly seeking international contacts. Gil Shohat, born in Tel Aviv in 1973, is two generations younger. He grew up in Israel and studied in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, after which he perfected his training in composition, piano and conducting in Rome and Manchester. Performed by Heidrun Holtmann (piano).