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Jerusalem: Modern History  

Ury Eppstein

Musical life in modern Jerusalem can be divided into two separate spheres: the liturgical music of the various Jewish, Christian and Muslim religious communities who maintain their living musical traditions; and Western secular art music.

Most of the many Jewish religious musical traditions are represented in the synagogues of the various communities, the most ancient being of Middle Eastern origin, mainly from the Yemen, Baghdad, Kurdistan, Iran, Bokhara and Syria. On further investigation, these may prove to preserve elements of musical traditions from biblical times. There are also representatives of the musical traditions of Spanish-based Sephardi communities, especially those from North Africa, Greece and Turkey, as well as of the mainstreams of eastern European Ashkenazi tradition, namely Hasidism (which created in Jerusalem a special vocal style imitating instruments, stimulated by the ban on instrumental music imposed to signify mourning for the destruction of the Temple) and its opponents, Mithnagdim, who developed a Jerusalem version of the Lithuanian-style Bible cantillation. Western European communities, mainly from Germany, also have synagogues with their own musical traditions....


Lisbon: From 1870  

Manuel Carlos De Brito

The new impetus in concert life in the last decades of the 19th century is particularly associated with institutions such as the Orquestra 24 de Junho (1870), conducted by, among others, Francisco Barbieri, Edouard Colonne and Ruddorf; the Sociedade de Concertos de Lisboa (1875); and the Real Academia dos Amadores de Música (1884), whose orchestra was directed by the German conductor Victor Hussla, and whose music school offered an alternative to the Conservatório Nacional. While the Recreios Wyttoyne (1875), the Real Coliseu de Lisboa (1887) and the Avenida (1888) theatres specialized in comic operas and zarzuelas, the Coliseu dos Recreios, built in 1890, presented both symphonic concerts and opera performances at reduced prices. Well-known orchestras visited Lisbon, including the Berlin PO under Nikisch in 1901 and again under Richard Strauss in 1908, the Colonne Orchestra in 1903 and the Lamoureux Orchestra in ...


Moscow: 1703–1918  

I.M. Yampol′sky

revised by Rosamund Bartlett

With the reforms of Peter the Great secular music came to have a much more prominent place in Russian life. The founding of St Petersburg, to which the court moved, also had an effect on the musical culture of Moscow, which changed radically during the 18th century. At the beginning of the century Russian music was represented by its rich heritage of folksong, by ecclesiastical chants and by the simplest domestic genres; by the end of the century Russian opera was taking shape, symphonic and chamber music were being written by Russian composers, and early examples of the Russian song were beginning to appear. The musical needs of Russian society were growing, its tastes were changing and the circle of educated music lovers was expanding. In spite of the fact that St Petersburg drew great artistic forces to the court, Moscow formed its own professional musical circles. Of particular importance were the serf musicians, who performed as soloists and in the many large serf orchestras....


Moscow: Since 1918  

Rosamund Bartlett

With Moscow once more established as the capital and seat of government following the October Revolution, the city was also bound to become the most important centre of Soviet music, and its theatres, concert halls and educational institutions now gradually began to take precedence over those in Petrograd. Overseen by Anatoly Lunacharsky, the Narodnïy Komissariat Prosveshcheniya (Commissariat of Public Education), better known by its acronym Narkompros, was given the task of nationalizing all aspects of musical life. The Bol′shoy Theatre had already been taken over by the state in November 1917, and tenor Leonid Sobinov helped to smooth the transition as temporary director. Lenin initially took exception to the large subsidy of a theatre so closely associated with the old regime, but its popularity with the new worker audience and Lunacharsky’s commitment to the preservation of the legacy of the past ensured its survival. Yelena Malinovskaya, appointed as commissar of Moscow theatres, attempted to infuse a new energy into productions and raise acting standards at the Bol′shoy by involving leading singers and stage directors such as Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko. On the initiative of Stanislavsky, the Opernaya Studiya Bol′shogo Teatra (Bol′shoy Theatre Opera Studio) was opened in ...