A Simple Story / S.Y. Agnon

Original music-theater performance for chamber ensemble and narrator

In the town of Shvush lived the Hurvitz family: Baruch Meir, his wife Tsirl and their only son, Hirshl. There was no great passion between husband and wife – when they weren’t busy making money they sat together in silence. But they had great expectations for their only son: they hoped he would become a teacher, not a grocer. But when Hirshl grew up, he was tucked into a two-room apartment with a mortgage, and married to Mina, a fair girl by all accounts. But his tortured heart cries out for Blume (who is this), and his soul suffers in agony. Finally, he goes mad (“Don’t slaughter me, don’t slaughter me, I am not a chicken!”).

The story, a Hebrew classic, is presented by the celebrated poet and rock singer Eran Zur and the Atar Piano Trio, in an original performance combining live music, storytelling and theater. This offers a creative and surprising encounter between these different musical traditions and gives the audience a unique experience. The music serves at times as sonic scenery and at other times as part of the story. The selection includes chamber classic repertory, contemporary Jewish and Israeli music and improvisation segments for the actor and musicians drawing on the music of Schubert, Dvorak, Shostakovich, Ligeti, Jan Freidlin and others.

The meeting point between chamber music and jazz is the real-time dialogue among the performers during live concerts. In chamber music, improvisation is reflected by the exchange of ideas, expression and created, whereas in jazz musical materials are invented during the performance, and always in dialogue among the musicians.

This performance was created by musicians Ofer Shelley , composition and arrangements; Tanya Beltser, Marina Katz, Eran Zur, as well as Michal Ackerman, text; Yonatan Cherchy and Benny Hendel, directing and performance.

This program has been presented dozens of times in Israel and was chosen to be performed on the Annual Agnon seminar in Jerusalem several times.

Piano | Violin | Cello | Narrator

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S.Y. Agnon

Shmuel Yosef Agnon

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