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Josef Tal - TROIS NOVELETTES for symphony orchestra

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Published on Nov 21, 2014

Josef Tal - TROIS NOVELETTES for symphony orchestra (~1940)

Conductor: Yaron Gottfried
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra
Tel Aviv, 2 Oct 2014

Recorded at the premiere. By permission of IMI.


The story 'behind the scene':
A year after my father had passed away, in 2009, I "Googled" 'Josef Gruenthal' (his former name) to find relevant Internet links. To my surprise I found in the Fleisher Collection of Orchestral Music of the Free Library of Philadelphia an unknown 70 pages work - Trois Novelettes. The Curator kindly mailed me a copy of the work as well as the accompanying documents (all scanned and linked to http://joseftal.org/orchestral-ensemble/).

The story in a nutshell: around 1940, when my father started to teach in the Jerusalem Conservatory of Music (under Emil Hauser), Hauser sent the manuscript to his acquaintance in Philadelphia to copy. There was no other way to print a full score of a symphonic work in those WWII days in British Palestine. My father never said a word about this - perhaps he did not know about Hauser's initiative, perhaps he thought the work was lost, or just forgot about it. He was no more than 30 years old when he composed it - the exact date is not stated in the manuscript.

The original manuscript vanished, but the Fleisher Collection's copy saved the work from oblivion. Performing the premiere in Israel after 75 years 'closed the circle' and gave me great joy.

Etan J. Tal
October 2014

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