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July 23, 2009 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2009-07-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

Arts & Entertainment

Ke

P

Into Gershw:s

Pianist Jeffrey Siegel is DSO's guest soloist
at Meadow Brook Music Festival concert.

Suzanne Chessler

Special to the Jewish News

p

ianist Jeffrey Siegel and Detroit
Symphony Orchestra conduc-
tor Leonard Slatkin have teamed
many times to perform an all-Gershwin
program, but they have not brought the
concert to the Meadow Brook Music
Festival until now.
"Gershwin Galore,"
which features piano
solos and orchestral
works, takes the stage
7:30 p.m. Sunday, July
26, when selections
will be reprised from
earlier concerts and
recordings showcas-
ing the talents of the
Leonard Slatkin
two
men.
conducts the DSO.
Siegel will play
Rhapsody in Blue and
Second Rhapsody. Slatkin will conduct
Porgy and Bess and Lullaby for Strings.

"The program is very touching for me
because it includes the Second Rhapsody,
which is a wonderful work that is little
known and very rarely played': says Siegel,
66, known for his Keyboard Conversations
programs that begin with explanations of
the music he will perform. "The piece has
the same vibrant rhythms and wonderful
tunes that Rhapsody in Blue has.
"What's particularly touching for me is
that Leonard Slatkin and I recorded these
with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra
almost 35 years ago, and they still are avail-
able and selling well."
Siegel, who presented his Keyboard
Conversations three times annually over
four years at the Detroit Institute of Arts,
knows what he would discuss about the
rhapsodies if they were part of his solo
piano presentations — the Gershwin style,
the American sounds, the syncopated
rhythms and the blues) , harmonies.
"The whole purpose for me in talking
about a piece of music prior to the perfor-
mance is that it makes the listening experi-

ence more involving': says Siegel, whose
Keyboard Conversations are ongoing in
20 American cities. "The listener feels on
the inside track:'
The idea for the formal conversations
came about after informal talks with
people Siegel met during parties follow-
ing concerts. Those new to the classics
or unschooled in the background of the
music just heard asked for ways to make
the pieces more accessible.
Among Siegel's recordings is a series
of four CDs of Keyboard Conversations:
Mozart and Friends, The Power and Passion
of Beethoven, The Romanticism of the
Russian Soul and The Romance of the Piano.
Siegel, who started appearing with the
Detroit Symphony in the 1960s under the
direction of Six-ten Ehrling, began tak-
ing piano seriously when he was 15. The
instrumentalist, whose father had been a
bass player with the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra, won the opportunity to play a
solo concerto with the orchestra after par-
ticipating in a statewide competition.

Jeffrey Siegel: Gershwin's Second Rhapsody
"has the same vibrant rhythms and

wonderful tunes that Rhapsody in Blue has."

"There was something about that par-
ticular moment in my life that made me
feel at least I have to try," he recalls. "I felt
that if I was not making music, I would be
like a duck out of water.
"Then came more study and audition-
ing. The career, such as I have had over
the past 50 years, has been one of steady
growth, a step-by-step ascension?'
Siegel, who studied with Rosina
Lhevinne at the Juilliard School in New

Jews

Nate Bloom

Special to the Jewish News

Dylan Lyrics

Lyrics to the song "Little Buddy,"
handwritten in 1957 by Bob
Dylan, now 68, sold for $12,500
at a Christie's auction held last
month. Dylan wrote out the lyr-
ics while attending Camp Herzl in
Wisconsin under his birth name:
Robert Zimmerman.
In the form of a
poem, the lyrics
were published in
the camp's newspa-
per. The paper's edi-
tor recently decided
to auction them off
to help the camp's
Bob Dylan
building fund. She
got the permission
of Dylan's niece and
nephew, who work for the camp – and
Dylan's OK as well. While the auc-
tioned lyrics are in Dylan's hand, the
song was actually written by the late
country singer Hank Snow.

C8

July 23 2009

Film Notes

The indie romantic comedy 500 Days
of Summer opens Friday, July 24. A
hit at the Sundance
Film Festival, it stars

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
(Brick, 3rd Rock from
the Sun), 28, as a

hopeless romantic
who falls in love
with a young woman
(Zooey Deschanel)
Joseph
who
doesn't believe in
Gordon-Levitt
lasting love. 500 Days
features two songs by
Regina Spektor, 29, the Russian Jewish
jazz/pop sensation.
Spektor is interviewed in the new
issue of JVibe, a magazine for Jewish
teens and young adults. She says
about being Jewish: "Growing up, I
only learned about Judaism after my
family came to America [in 1989].... I
think today I'm still trying to figure out
my place in all of it – I've loved learn-
ing the Torah and Talmud.... I haven't
found a stationary spot, like, 'This
what I believe.' I do know that I really
love my tribe and lots of its traditions,
especially holidays like Passover, Rosh

Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Those are
holidays where I can't be on tour – I
need to be home with my family and
friends sharing the tradition."

Over At HBO

The new HBO comedy series Hung
stars Thomas Jane (real-life husband
of actress Patricia Arquette) as Ray
Drecker, a Detroit-area high-school
history teacher and basketball coach
down on his luck. (Some scenes are
filmed here.) In the first episode, we
learn that Ray's ex-wife (Anne Heche)
left him for a rich doctor. Ray is living in
a modest house with his two teens, but
it burns down. Ray has no insurance so
he camps in his backyard while his kids
move in with his ex-wife. Desperate for
rebuilding money, he decides to utilize
his "asset" – he is very well-endowed
– servicing female clients.
I know this sounds a bit sordid, but
the show is very funny and cleverly writ-
ten (the "asset" is never revealed on
screen). Episodes air 10 p.m. Sundays.
Hung is created and written by
the husband-wife team of Dmitry
Lipkin (The Riches), 41, and Colette
Burson, 35. In a recent interview with

NPR's Terry Gross, Lipkin discussed
his Jewish background. He was 10
years old when his family left Moscow.
The Jewish sponsoring agency settled
his family in Baton Rouge, La., where
his father, a chemical engineer, found
work. Like Regina Spektor's family,
Lipkin's family was not able to practice
Judaism in Russia. In Louisiana, Lipkin's
family joined a Reform synagogue and,
at his request, he was circumcised.
The new season of HBO's Entourage,
airing 10:30 p.m. Sundays, features two
very attractive Jewish semi-regulars:
Emmanuelle Chriqui and Jamie-Lynn
Sigler. Chriqui returns as Sloan, the
on-and-off girlfriend of talent manager
Eric (Kevin Connolly);
Sigler plays herself
– and the improbable
girlfriend of Turtle
(Jerry Ferrara), the
"go-fer" for movie
star Vincent Chase
(Adrian Grenier).

Emmanuelle

Chriqui

Contact Nate Bloom at

middleoftheroadl®aol.

coal.

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