Jewish Currents

January 1989 43:1 (467) p19
Song and Dance at Our Concert
[by Morris U. Schappes]

November 20
Despite the fact that New York "was drenched with more than two inches of rain" (N.Y. Times), about 195 dedicated supporters of the magazine and devotees of Jewish and other ethnic culture came out to P.S. 41. In "The Jewish Woman in Song," Helene Williams showed the range of her strong soprano and the unusual variety of her 15 selections, with Leonard Lehrman deftly at the piano. In time, she moved from Abraham Goldfaden's "Rozhinkes mit Mandlen" (Raisins and Almonds, 1880) to "A Girl Without Morals" by Joel Shatzky and Leonard Lehrman (1987/88). Her five other Yiddish songs encompassed folk songs, Second Ave. "pops" and, for the 50th anniversary of Kristallnacht, Hirsh Glik's partisan song, "Shtil di Nacht is Oysgeshterent" (Shh, the [night] sky is full of stars -- 1943). In genre, she began with Mascagni's aria [from L'Amico Fritz] (1891), turned at once for the sharpest contrast to "A Yiddishe Momma" (1925), on to the Soviet Jewish composer Grigorii Frid's virtually unknown here The Diary of Anne Frank (1969), Irving Berlin's "The New Colossus" (1949), Marc Blitzstein's "A Quiet Girl" (1942) and Harold Rome's noisy "Miss Marmelstein" (1962). The audience demanded encores, and got Edith Segal's poignant Rosenberg song, "My Love[d One]." Helene Williams projects very well....