BRUBECK: The Gates of Justice
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A MESSAGE FROM THE MILKEN ARCHIVE FOUNDER Dispersed over the centuries to all corners of the earth, the Jewish people absorbed elements of its host cultures while, miraculously, maintaining its own. As many Jews reconnected in America, escaping persecution and seeking to take part in a visionary democratic society, their experiences found voice in their music. The sacred and secular body of work that has developed over the three centuries since Jews first arrived on these shores provides a powerful means of expressing the multilayered saga of American Jewry. My personal interest in music and deep abiding commitment to synagogue life and the Jewish people united as I developed an increasing appreciation for the quality and tremendous diversity of music written for or inspired by the American Jewish experience. Through discussions with contemporary Jewish composers and performers during the 1980s, I realized that while much of this music had become a vital force in American and world culture, even more music of specifically Jewish content had been created, perhaps performed, and then lost to current and future generations. Believing that there was a unique opportunity to rediscover, preserve, and transmit the collective memory contained within this music, the Milken Archive of American Jewish Music was founded in 1990. This project would unite the Jewish people's eternal love of music with their commitment to education, a commitment shared by the Milken Family Foundation since our founding in 1982. The passionate collaboration of many distinguished artists, ensembles, and recording producers has created a vast repository of musical resources to educate, entertain, and inspire people of all faiths and cultures. The Milken Archive of American Jewish Music is a living project, one that we hope will cultivate and nourish musicians and enthusiasts of this richly varied musical genre. Lowell Milken The Milken Family Foundation was established by brothers Lowell and Michael Milken in 1982 with the mission to discover and advance inventive, effective ways of helping people help themselves and those around them lead productive and satisfying lives. The Foundation advances this mission primarily through its work in education and medical research. For more information, visit www.milkenarchive.org. A MESSAGE FROM THE MILKEN ARCHIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR The quality, quantity, and amazing diversity of sacred as well as secular music written for or inspired by Jewish life in America is one of the least acknowledged achievements of modern Western culture. The time is ripe for a wider awareness and appreciation of these various repertoires--which may be designated appropriately as an aggregate \American Jewish music." The Milken Archive is a musical voyage of discovery encompassing hundreds of original pieces--symphonies, operas, concertos, cantorial masterpieces, complete synagogue services, and folk, popular, and Yiddish theater music. The music in the Archive--all born of the American Jewish experience or fashioned for uniquely American institutions--has been created by native American or immigrant composers. The repertoire is chosen by a panel of leading musicians, musicologists, cantors, and Judaic scholars who have selected works based on or inspired by traditional Jewish melodies or modes, synagogue or other liturgical functions, language, Jewish historical subject matter, role in Jewish celebrations or commemorations, and content of texts (biblical, literary, etc.), as well as their intrinsic musical integrity. The initial dissemination to the public of the Archive will consist of fifty CDs devoted to particular composers and musical genres. In this first phase of the project, more than 200 composers in recordings of more than 600 works are represented. Additional components of the Archive, planned for release at a future date, include rare historical reference recordings, expanded analytical background information, contextual essays, and a special collectors edition--according to historical, religious, and sociological themes. The Milken Archive is music of AMERICA--a part of American culture in all its diversity; it is JEWISH, as an expression of Jewish tradition and culture enhanced and enriched by the American environment; and perhaps above all, it is MUSIC--music that transcends its boundaries of origin and invites sharing, music that has the power to speak to all of us. Neil W. Levin Neil W. Levin is an internationally recognized scholar and authority on Jewish music history, a professor of Jewish music at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, director of the International Centre and Archives for Jewish Music in New York, music director of Schola Hebraeica, and author of various articles, books, and monographs on Jewish music. About the Composer
Although DAVE BRUBECK (b.1920) possesses one of the finest pianistic gifts in the entire jazz world and has performed with his trio and quartet throughout his career to worldwide ovations, he considers himself "a composer who plays the piano." For many decades a contemporary jazz icon, he has also been a pioneer in combining jazz with symphony orchestra and large choral forces. A California native, son of a cowboy/rancher father and a classical-pianist mother who was a pupil of two of the century's great piano masters, Tobias Matthay and Dame Myra Hess, Brubeck majored in music for his undergraduate degree. He returned from service during the Second World War to study composition with Darius Milhaud, who encouraged him to pursue both jazz performance and composition. Brubeck began by writing for his quartet. His first work for orchestra was Elementals (1963), combining jazz and symphony orchestra, and his first major choral work, The Light in the Wilderness (1967), was both premiered and recorded by the Cincinnati Symphony.
In the 1950s, as his quartet was in constant ballets; a musical; the mass setting To Hope! demand throughout the country and especially A Celebration; several oratorios and cantatas; on college and university campuses, Brubeck the Chromatic Fantasy Sonata, inspired by began to integrate irregular meters and Bach and premiered at Washington's Kennedy jazz forms. His own "Blue Rondo a la Turk" Center by the classical chamber group An reflected that development, and the work die Musik; and numerous piano pieces and was included on the album Time Out, along orchestral works. Brubeck is a recipient with the 1959 recording of Paul Desmond's of many honors and awards--including a "Take Five," the first jazz instrumental record Lifetime Achievement Award by the National to reach sales of one million. Among Brubeck's Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences--and major works written since the '60s are two the National Medal of the Arts was presented to him by President Clinton in 1994. In 2000 hewas elected to the American Jazz Masters, agroup recognized by the National Endowmentfor the Arts for unparalleled achievementsand contributions to this American art formof jazz.
--Neil W. LevinProgram Note
Dave Brubeck has always maintained that he wrote his second large-scale sacred composition THE GATES OF JUSTICE (1969) to bring together--and back together--the Jewish people and American blacks. The natural bond forged between them during the civil rights movement in the early 1960s had weakened and was starting to break down by 1969, especially after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1968. As leadership became increasingly fragmented following that tragic loss, there were emerging anti-Semitic suggestions among spokesmen for some marginal black groups; mainstream Jewish commitment to the civil rights cause appeared to be cooling, especially as the focus of the struggle spread from the South to encompass northern cities; and the pursuit of common goals and mutual support were no longer so autom