Milken Archive Releases 50 CD set

Milken Archive Completes First Phase of Multi-Year Recording Project with Release of 49th and 50th CDs-
and Complete Box Set

The Milken Archive of American Jewish Music, the most comprehensive exploration of music related to Jewish life in America ever undertaken, has reached a major milestone with the release of the 49th and 50th CDs in its pioneering recording series on Naxos American Classics.

These discs illustrate two of the Archive’s primary goals: to reconstruct and preserve for current and future generations major musical manifestations of the American Jewish experience and to reveal the intersection of Jewish composers and Jewish subject matter with some of the major genres in Western classical music.
The Milken Archive has also released a deluxe box set of <> all 50 Milken Archive CDs. This set is available for $349*, $100 less than if all 50 CDs are purchased individually.

The Jewish Music Center can recommend this collection to academic and public libraries starting or continuing collections of American or Jewish music. There are additional notes and materials included in the boxed set that may be of interest to those who wish to read more material about the music on the collections.

Great <> Songs from the Yiddish Stage, Volume 1: Abraham Ellstein & Other Songwriters of His Circle
Great <> Songs from the Yiddish Stage, Volume 2: Bay Mir Bistu Sheyn – Sholom Secunda, Alexander Olshanetsky & Other Songwriters of Their Circle
Great Songs of the <> Yiddish Stage, Volume 3: Joseph Rumshinsky and Other Songwriters of His Circle continues the Milken Archive’s project designed to recreate-through newly reconstructed and historically accurate orchestrations as well as idiomatic performances-one of the richest expressions of the American Jewish experience and to bring this vibrant, accessible genre to life for current audiences.
A major form of live entertainment for immigrant generations from the late 19th century through the 1940s, the Yiddish musical stage also influenced broader forms of popular American culture, including the Broadway musical and Tin Pan Alley. This latest volume features songs from both Yiddish musical theater, commonly known as Second Avenue, and Yiddish vaudeville. It centers around one of the leading avatars of Second Avenue, Joseph Rumshinsky, who made several lasting innovations to the genre, and also includes songs by three of his contemporaries.
Performers include Robert Abelson, Bruce Adler, Robert Bloch, Joanne Borts, Amy Goldstein, Benzion Miller, Nell Snaidas, Elizabeth Shammash, and Simon Spiro, with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Elli Jaffe, conductor, and the Barcelona Symphony/National Orchestra of Catalonia led by Jorge Mester.
Also available from the Milken Archive:
Scenes <> from Jewish Operas, Volume 1
Scenes from Jewish Operas, Volume 2 includes excerpts from works inspired by eastern European Jewish life, the Hebrew bible, and the persistent dilemma of Jewish identity.
Two of the 20th century’s most esteemed Jewish literary figures are represented among these operas: Bernard Malamud, whose Jewish stories occupy an acknowledged place in American literature and whose Lady of the Lake, from the famous collection, The Magic Barrel, has been set by Elie Siegmeister; and Nobel laureate Isaac Bashevis Singer, whose famous story about mysteries, superstition, sexual repression and daily existence in Jewish eastern European village life is reinvented for David Schiff’s opera Gimpel the Fool. The third opera, Hugo Weisgall’s Esther, which is based on the biblical narrative about the heroic Jewish wife of the Persian king who saved her people from imminent destruction, was premiered at New York City Opera in 1993 and hailed as one of the most important American operas of its generation.

Participating artists on this recording include Theodore Bikel, Ted Christopher, Marcus DeLoach, Juliana Gondek, Robert MacPherson, Carol Meyer, the Seattle Symphony conducted by Gerard Schwarz, and the University of Michigan Opera Theatre led by Kenneth Kiesler.