Magazine article Gramophone

Pergament: The Jewish Song

Magazine article Gramophone

Pergament: The Jewish Song

Article excerpt


The Jewish Song

Birgit Nordin sop Sven-Olof Eliasson ten

Stockholm Philharmonic Choir; Royal Stockholm

Philharmonic Orchestra / James DePreist

Caprice [F] CAP21 834 (76' * ADD)

Recorded live at the Stockholm Concert Hall, February 3,1974. From [LP] CAP2003, CAP2013


Moses Pergament (1893-1977) has been described as 'one of the best-kept secrets of Swedish music', although he was born in Finland into a Swedish-speaking Jewish family the origins of which lay in Lithuania. Always something of an outsider in Sweden's conservative musical environment, he was a fine composer who made his name first as a trenchant critic and supporter of new music, including jazz.

The choral symphony The Jewish Song (1944) is perhaps his most special work, standing in his output much as Tippett's A Child of Our Time or Hilding Rosenberg's The Revelation of St John the Divine does in theirs. Pergament's topical subject was the oppression of the Jews ('Deutschland iiber alles' is used, most tellingly in the 'Intermezzo drammatico'), the music setting powerful poems of Ragnar Josephson. …

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