Favorite Icon, Full size
Album Review: American Chanukah
Robin Spielberg
Cover image of the album American Chanukah by Robin Spielberg
American Chanukah
Robin Spielberg
2002 / playMountain Music
53 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Several years in the planning stages, Robin Spielberg’s collection of Chanukah songs arranged for solo piano is a masterpiece. One of the most elegant and graceful pianists around, Spielberg keeps the arrangements of the traditional pieces simple, letting the melodies sing their messages of hope and peace. With the help of her ninety-nine-year-old grandmother, Jennie Spielberg, Robin researched and arranged songs of Yiddish, Sephardic, Israeli, Ashkenazi , European, and American origin for inclusion in this collection. I’m not Jewish, but love the warmth and beauty of these pieces. Many are rather haunting, but a sense of light and hope prevails throughout. Also included are Spielberg’s original “West Bank Serenade”, a stunning new piece composed during the weeks of the first suicide bombing attacks in the West Bank, and a fresh new version of “First Night” which first appeared on “In the Heart of Winter” several years ago. Along with the other traditional Chanukah songs are “Sabbath Prayer” from “Fiddler on the Roof”, “One” by U2, and the Israeli national anthem which comes from a theme by Smetna. All of the pieces are lovingly arranged and played, and are obviously very close to Spielberg’s heart. With the world situation as difficult as it is right now, this album takes on a very special importance and meaning. Very highly recommended!
December 26, 2002
This review has been tagged as:
Holiday Albums
More reviews of Robin Spielberg albums