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By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 23, 2000
There may come a day when the profoundly disturbing issues raised by the "Babi Yar" Symphony of Shostakovich will seem entirely alien to us. But that day is not likely to be soon. Let's see. There's the horror of the Holocaust and latent anti-Semitism, confronted in the first movement. Just this week, a major literary prize in Germany was awarded to an author who espouses the view that Hitler's response to the Jews was reasonable. And nationalism, inevitably tinged with anti-Semitic undercurrents, keeps rising to the fore in many of the countries once caught up in World War II. Then there's the second movement's salute to the durability of humor, despite efforts by those in authority to stamp it out. Easy to think of places where that's still relevant.
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NEWS
July 8, 2000
Prayer not abhorrent, practiced by many of various religions Your editorial "Ruling for religious freedom" (June 21) is wrong in stating that the Supreme Court acted wisely in preventing student-led prayer prior to sports contests. The Founding Fathers' intentions regarding the church-state separation issue obviously escaped the writer. Sadder still is the deference paid by the writer to those who might find the idea of religious activity "abhorrent." Finding prayer abhorrent? How many people could possibly fall into that category?
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FEATURES
June 22, 2000
The ravine outside Kiev known as Babi Yar was more than a horrific chapter in the Nazis' attempt to exterminate the Jewish people. It became a symbol of latent anti-Semitism in Russia and a rallying point for those seeking to understand the nature of hate. The legacy of Babi Yar, and some of the reasons it inspired the poetry of Yevgeny Yevtushenko and the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, can be traced in these excerpts from historic and literary sources." `All Yids living in the city of Kiev and its vicinity are to report by 8 o'clock on the morning of Monday, September 29th, 1941, at the corner of ...' "I could not, of course, miss such a rare spectacle as the deportation of the Jews from Kiev ... "I went from one group of people to the other, listening ... They were standing in the gateways and porches, some of them watching and sighing, others jeering and hurling insults at the Jews ... When I got home I found my grandfather standing in the middle of the courtyard, straining to hear some shooting ..."
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 23, 2000
There may come a day when the profoundly disturbing issues raised by the "Babi Yar" Symphony of Shostakovich will seem entirely alien to us. But that day is not likely to be soon. Let's see. There's the horror of the Holocaust and latent anti-Semitism, confronted in the first movement. Just this week, a major literary prize in Germany was awarded to an author who espouses the view that Hitler's response to the Jews was reasonable. And nationalism, inevitably tinged with anti-Semitic undercurrents, keeps rising to the fore in many of the countries once caught up in World War II. Then there's the second movement's salute to the durability of humor, despite efforts by those in authority to stamp it out. Easy to think of places where that's still relevant.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | June 18, 2000
There is a ravine outside the Ukrainian city of Kiev, a ravine called Babi Yar, that holds within its soil the traces of a hideous crime. The place also stands as a weighty indictment against hate. No wonder so many people have wanted to make Babi Yar disappear. The first attempt came in 1943, when the retreating Germans tried to destroy all traces of nearly 34,000 Jews murdered there in the course of two September days in 1941. In the late 1950s, Soviet authorities, annoyed with calls for a memorial to Babi Yar's victims and with the implication that the Germans had plenty of Russian helpers in their effort to exterminate Jews, ordered the ravine turned into a lake.
NEWS
By Will Englund and Will Englund,Sun Staff Correspondent | May 13, 1995
KIEV, Ukraine -- The route was Artyomov Street. The car carried President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the center of the city along Artyomov, the same street along which for several terrible months in 1941 the Nazis herded 100,000 or more people -- no one knows for sure how many -- until they reached the quiet green woodland known as Babi Yar.The Clintons rode all the way down Artyomov, stopping at last at a memorial in Babi Yar erected in...
NEWS
By HARVEY M. MEYERHOFF | October 1, 1991
The Ukrainian government's official commemoration this week ofthe 50th anniversary of the massacre at Babi Yar formally recognizes for the first time that the atrocity's first and most numerous victims were Jewish. A triumph, however belated, for truth-telling? Yes, but there is more to it than that.Although the Babi Yar massacre was only one of many mass murders committed by the Nazi mobile killing squads, the sheer scale and brutality of the event retain the power to shock. For before the Nazis discovered the efficacy of gas chambers and crematoria, they murdered people the old-fashioned way -- by shooting them.
NEWS
By GEORGE F. WILL | August 8, 1991
Washington -- President Bush, on the verge of tears, his voice cracking, spoke of ''shadows of past evil'' at Babi Yar, the ravine near Kiev where in 1941 Nazi gunfire murdered 33,000 Jews in 36 hours.Does he know that 30 years later the Soviet government compounded the atrocity? It is a story that illustrates the mountain of mendacity through which the slender sprouts of Soviet reform must push.In 1971, Soviet support for the Arab campaign to delegitimize Israel included a Pravda story that ''Zionist agents active during the last war in Western and Eastern Europe and in the occupied part of the Soviet Union collaborated with the Nazis'' and this collaboration included the Babi Yar massacre.
NEWS
July 8, 2000
Prayer not abhorrent, practiced by many of various religions Your editorial "Ruling for religious freedom" (June 21) is wrong in stating that the Supreme Court acted wisely in preventing student-led prayer prior to sports contests. The Founding Fathers' intentions regarding the church-state separation issue obviously escaped the writer. Sadder still is the deference paid by the writer to those who might find the idea of religious activity "abhorrent." Finding prayer abhorrent? How many people could possibly fall into that category?
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | February 21, 1999
The arrival of Wednesday's mail will announce the details of the beginning of a new era for the Baltimore Symphony. BSO subscribers will receive a brochure containing the schedule for the 1999-2000 season, Yuri Temirkanov's first as the 11th music director in the orchestra's 83-year history.But while a few of the programs and soloists in the schedule point to what may be some significant changes in direction, anyone who expects a radical redrafting of the orchestra's activities will be disappointed.
FEATURES
By Scott Shane and Scott Shane,SUN STAFF | June 22, 2000
One day in March 1962, the telephone rang at the Moscow apartment of Yevgeny Yevtushenko, wunderkind poet of the Soviet Union's post-Stalinist thaw. It was someone claiming to be the famous composer Dmitri Shostakovich. So Yevtushenko's wife, Galya, hung up on the man, grumbling about stupid pranks. Then the phone rang again, and the diffident voice of the same man explained that he really was Shostakovich, and if it was convenient, he'd like to have a word with Yevgeny. And so began an extraordinary collaboration between a 29-year-old poet and a 56-year-old composer that produced one of the great choral symphonies of the 20th century.
FEATURES
June 22, 2000
The ravine outside Kiev known as Babi Yar was more than a horrific chapter in the Nazis' attempt to exterminate the Jewish people. It became a symbol of latent anti-Semitism in Russia and a rallying point for those seeking to understand the nature of hate. The legacy of Babi Yar, and some of the reasons it inspired the poetry of Yevgeny Yevtushenko and the music of Dmitri Shostakovich, can be traced in these excerpts from historic and literary sources." `All Yids living in the city of Kiev and its vicinity are to report by 8 o'clock on the morning of Monday, September 29th, 1941, at the corner of ...' "I could not, of course, miss such a rare spectacle as the deportation of the Jews from Kiev ... "I went from one group of people to the other, listening ... They were standing in the gateways and porches, some of them watching and sighing, others jeering and hurling insults at the Jews ... When I got home I found my grandfather standing in the middle of the courtyard, straining to hear some shooting ..."
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 20, 2000
When Alexander Toradze arrived in town last week to perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, he had more on his mind than playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3. He was also thinking about two occasions when Yuri Temirkanov came to his rescue. "I want people here to know what kind of man Yuri is," the pianist said in his dressing room after a rehearsal. "They may see him only as a great conductor." Temirkanov, a fellow Russian, is the BSO's new music director. The two men have known each other for many years and have developed a strong, mutual respect.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic | June 18, 2000
There is a ravine outside the Ukrainian city of Kiev, a ravine called Babi Yar, that holds within its soil the traces of a hideous crime. The place also stands as a weighty indictment against hate. No wonder so many people have wanted to make Babi Yar disappear. The first attempt came in 1943, when the retreating Germans tried to destroy all traces of nearly 34,000 Jews murdered there in the course of two September days in 1941. In the late 1950s, Soviet authorities, annoyed with calls for a memorial to Babi Yar's victims and with the implication that the Germans had plenty of Russian helpers in their effort to exterminate Jews, ordered the ravine turned into a lake.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Classical Music Critic | September 9, 1999
Celebration is the word that best describes the upcoming music season.For starters, the 1999-2000 season marks the beginning of Yuri Temirkanov's first season as the new music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.Oops. Make that the great Russian conductor's first half-season. Temirkanov doesn't make his official debut as the BSO's new music director until January 20 and 21, when he leads the orchestra in Mahler's Symphony No. 2 ("Resurrection"). If that first program suggests a rebirth of the orchestra, subsequent programs suggest ways in which Temirkanov will lead it in new directions: fresh repertory (such as Shostakovich's Symphony No. 13 -- "Babi Yar" -- the greatest work to come out of the Holocaust, June 22-24)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Wigler and Stephen Wigler,Sun Music Critic | February 21, 1999
The arrival of Wednesday's mail will announce the details of the beginning of a new era for the Baltimore Symphony. BSO subscribers will receive a brochure containing the schedule for the 1999-2000 season, Yuri Temirkanov's first as the 11th music director in the orchestra's 83-year history.But while a few of the programs and soloists in the schedule point to what may be some significant changes in direction, anyone who expects a radical redrafting of the orchestra's activities will be disappointed.
FEATURES
By Tim Smith and Tim Smith,SUN MUSIC CRITIC | June 20, 2000
When Alexander Toradze arrived in town last week to perform with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, he had more on his mind than playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3. He was also thinking about two occasions when Yuri Temirkanov came to his rescue. "I want people here to know what kind of man Yuri is," the pianist said in his dressing room after a rehearsal. "They may see him only as a great conductor." Temirkanov, a fellow Russian, is the BSO's new music director. The two men have known each other for many years and have developed a strong, mutual respect.
FEATURES
December 9, 1990
BECOMING AMERICAN. IT'S A LOT EASIER TO SAY THAN TO DO. SOVIET JEWS, FOR EXAMPLE, IMMIGRATING TO THIS country in record numbers, have to struggle with a new culture, a new language, new expectations -- even new religious observances, since until very recently the Soviet Union did not permit the practice of any religion, whether Judaism, Christianity or Islam. (See accompanying story.)Most of the 1,146 Soviet Jews who immigrated to Baltimore during the last year will make it; a few won't. One couple that is making it is Elmira and Anatoly Pritsker, who, taking advantage of recently liberalized emigration laws for Soviet Jews, arrived in Baltimore from Kiev last April.
NEWS
By Will Englund and Will Englund,Sun Staff Correspondent | May 13, 1995
KIEV, Ukraine -- The route was Artyomov Street. The car carried President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton out of the center of the city along Artyomov, the same street along which for several terrible months in 1941 the Nazis herded 100,000 or more people -- no one knows for sure how many -- until they reached the quiet green woodland known as Babi Yar.The Clintons rode all the way down Artyomov, stopping at last at a memorial in Babi Yar erected in...
NEWS
By Phil Greenfield and Phil Greenfield,Special to The Sun | December 23, 1994
"The other arts persuade us, but music takes us by surprise," wrote the noted German music critic Eduard Hanslick.Who among us doesn't love surprises, so why not give the gift of great music this Christmas? Here are some suggestions for the aesthetes and aspiring highbrows who might be on your list this Christmas season.The Record of '94: The grim, powerful "Babi Yar" Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich will never be confused with fa-la-la yuletide fare, but if there is a more extraordinary offering this year than the gritty, intense account recorded by Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic for Teldec, I haven't heard it.Shostakovich's blistering musical denunciation of Soviet anti-Semitism and Nazi atrocities in Ukraine is always a searing emotional experience, but add the recitations by poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko at this Avery Fisher Hall concert and the impact becomes truly overwhelming.
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