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A superb collaboration on 'Violins of Hope' by the immensely gifted Niv Ashkenazi and Matthew Graybil / Rafael's Music Notes

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Violins of Hope is an artistic and educational project that utilizes instruments once owned by Jewish musicians, many of which were played in concentration camps and ghettos. Israeli luthiers Amnon and Avshalom Weinstein have collected many of these instruments, refurbishing them to concert quality, and in this singularly engaging album, violinist Niv Ashkenazi and pianist Matthew Graybil bring to life music by many Jewish composers both dead and alive, including Serenade by Robert Dauber, Nigun by Ernest Bloch, the theme from "Schindler's List" by John Williams, The Chassid by Julius Chajes, Bestemming: Triumph by Sharon Farber, Trois pièces de concert by Szymon Laks, Dance of the Rebbitzen by George Perlman, both Berceuse Sfaradite and Three Songs Without Words by Paul Ben-Haim, and Kaddisch by Maurice Ravel.

Throughout the CD the immensely gifted Niv Ashkenazi and Matthew Graybil, his superb collaborative pianist both play soulfully imbuing the music with appropriate emotional depth though never falling prey to sentimentality. Altogether a worthy project, Violins of Hope provided this listener with a lovely listening experience.

READ THE FULL Rafael's Music Notes REVIEW