This project was a dream of mine for years. For several summers, I have enjoyed performing lesser-known works by modern and 20th-century Jewish composers for Piccolo Spoleto’s A World of Jewish Culture series, and wanted to preserve and promote some of this music through a recording. Recently, I have performed and fallen in love with the music of Korngold and Copland. Both composers contributed greatly to the development of classical music in America but in different ways. Copland’s music was heavily influenced by American folk and defines the typical “Americana” style to most modern ears, while Korngold drew upon elements of his Viennese musical roots to establish the characteristic sounds of early Hollywood film scores. The idea for this project finally came to fruition with the help of the rare 1686 Ex-Nachez Stradivarius violin. I have been very fortunate to establish a great friendship with John and Winifred Constable, owners of this beautiful instrument. This is the first sound recording of this violin and I believe these particular selections by Korngold and Copeland highlight its most magical qualities. Finally, it was an absolute joy for me to record these works with my dear friend, Andrew Armstrong, whose insight, sensitivity and energy made for a perfect collaboration.
I am forever grateful to the following individuals whose generous support helped to make this recording project a reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. -Yuriy Bekker
John and Winifred Constable, benevolent parents of the 1686 Ex-Nachez Stradivarius
Sam and Joan Burns and the Dock Street Communities
Leo and Carol Fishman
Paul and Becky Hilstad
John and Valerie Luther
Sam and Jackie Gawthrop
Jack and Enid Benezra
David and Ginger Scott
Ted and Tricia Legasey
Roger and Vivian Steel
Charleston Symphony Orchestra League
Additional funding was provided by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Program, the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC, and the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts
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