Prominent Conductor from Brooklyn Releases New Album on Jewish Song
Acclaimed choral conductor Judith Clurman has released a new compact disc, “Cherished Moments: Songs of the Jewish Spirit,” on Sono Luminus (DSL-92182). Clurman, whose Brooklyn roots have stayed with her, now lives here in the borough with her husband, Cantor Bruce Ruben.
“Cherished Moments” features Essential Voices USA, with Clurman conducting, along with soloists Ron Raines, Bruce Ruben and Michael Slattery.
This new CD combines the expertise born of Clurman’s 30 years as a prominent conductor with memories of her own childhood in synagogue and an intimate knowledge of this poignant repertoire to create a unique recording. The recording introduces exciting arrangements of traditional songs that represent the Jewish holidays and life cycle events — from the centerpiece “Songs of Freedom: A Celebration of Chanukah,” a cycle for chorus, soloists and orchestra that premiered at Carnegie Hall, to the 19th-century lyrical classicism of Louis Lewandowski and Emanuel Kirschner, to works by folk artist Debbie Friedman, cantor-composer Bruce Ruben and Canadian composer Ben Steinberg.
The recording also features important new works, among them a minimalist setting of “Set Me as a Seal” by Nico Muhly, Larry Hochman’s “Shomeir Yisrael” and Paul Schoenfield’s “Al Hanisim,” all written for Clurman. The recording features the singers of Essential Voices USA and renowned guest instrumentalists, including composers Hochman and Schoenfield accompanying their own works.
Clurman’s Essential Voices USA (EVUSA) is widely regarded as one of New York’s preeminent choral ensembles. It is composed of a highly talented roster of both seasoned professionals and auditioned volunteers. Within this group, Clurman has created a dynamic choral model in which the size of the ensemble is dictated by the unique needs of each project. EVUSA performs regularly on the Carnegie Hall subscription series with the New York Pops and at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music. For more information, visit www.essentialvoicesusa.com.