A seventieth birthday concert for Alexander Knapp,
heard by MALCOLM MILLER
The exuberant modern premiere of The Cummerbund, a setting of Edward Lear's witty poem by the distinguished musicologist Alexander Knapp (completed whilst a Cambridge undergraduate in the 1960s) formed a suitably festive highlight of a concert to celebrate its composer's seventieth birthday, given as part of the 'Music at Belsize' series at Belsize Square Synagogue in North West London, UK, on 7 February 2016. The performance by soloists, choir, strings, piano duet, French horn and enthusiastic audience conducted by Benjamin Wolf, Musical Director at Belsize Square, concluded the first half of Alexander Knapp at 70, a programme which foregrounded Knapp's multifaceted talents and achievements as musicologist, composer, arranger, pianist, and authority on Jewish music and the life and works of Ernest Bloch.
The 'Festschrift' in music offered an uplifting opportunity for family, friends and colleagues to express their admiration and to enjoy a selection of Alexander Knapp's seldom-performed original works and arrangements in excellent performances. Belsize Square Synagogue, which perpetuates the rich musical traditions of its pre-World War 2 German-Jewish heritage, afforded an ideal venue for a special evening devoted to a pioneer and doyen of Jewish music scholarship, the first Joe Loss Lecturer in Jewish Music in the UK, originally at City University and later at SOAS (the School of Oriental and African Studies)...
Copyright © 21 June 2016