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Memories of Spain 2013

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On Thursday, May 30, 2013 Casa Shalom organized a musical performance in Ra'anana, Israel entitled "Memories of Spain". It took place in the home of Mel Corin and his family, a magnificent house with a beautiful garden with a swimming pool. Mel is a contemporary artist who paints colorful abstracts that were on display during the evening (his website is www.melcorin.com). We sat around the pool on a flawless evening and after feasting on tapas and sangria listened to a performance on the viola da gamba (also known as the viol) played by Dr. Myrna Herzog, who founded and performs with the Phoenix Early Music Ensemble (her website is www.phoenixearlymusic.com ).

Myrna is an internationally recognized virtuoso on the viola da gamba, which is not widely played now, but has a beautiful mellow tone. It has seven strings as opposed to the four strings on the modern string instruments of violin and cello, and comes somewhere between them in tone (gamba means legs). Myrna played pieces from the earliest Spanish songs of the15th century to a contemporary Japanese composer Sun-ichi Tokura and ended with renderings of Bach, all on her 18th-century instrument. It was a unique experience. During her performance, Myrna explained about the origins of the pieces, and informed us that the viola da gamba travelled contemporaneously with the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 and many of its exponents were Jews. When King Henry VIII wanted to expand the musical capabilities of his court, he imported into England six Sephardic Jews who played the viola da gamba.

After the performance Neil Davis introduced Gloria Mound, the Executive Director of Casa Shalom, who spoke briefly about the aims and activities of Casa Shalom and invited everyone who has not yet been to visit the library of the International Institute for Secret Jews (Anusim) Studies at Netanya Academic College, where she has her research office. This houses the library consisting of 2,500 books and 5,000 manuscripts that she and her late husband Leslie (z"l) collected over 40 years, and is regarded as the best library on the subject of the Anusim in the world.

Neil Davis planned the evening on the suggestion of Danby Meital and Adina Moryosef of Casa Shalom organized the event. Myrna Herzog donated her performance for Casa Shalom, and Mel Corin graciously opened his home to us, enabling Casa Shalom to keep the costs to a minimum.

"Memories of Spain" was altogether a memorable evening.

Neil Davis, vice-chairman of Casa Shalom and MC of the evening, with Dr. Myrna Herzog, founder, Phoenix Early Music Ensemble
Neil Davis, vice-chairman of Casa Shalom and MC of the evening, with Dr. Myrna Herzog, founder, Phoenix Early Music Ensemble

Mel and Nikki Corin, hosts of
 

Mel (the artist) and Nikki (the hostess) Corin of "Memories of Spain"

 

from left: Neil Davis, Ambassador Yair Recanti (ret.), Ambassador Breifne O'Reilly of Ireland
from left: Neil Davis, Ambassador Yair Recanti (ret.), Ambassador Breifne O'Reilly of Ireland

Staff from the library of Netanya Academic College enjoying tapas and sangria
Staff from the library of Netanya Academic College enjoying tapas and sangria

Myrna Herzog performing
Myrna Herzog performing

Myrna Herzog performing
Myrna Herzog performing

From left: Adina Moryosef, associate director of Casa Shalom, Neil Davis, and Myrna Herzog
From left: Adina Moryosef, associate director of Casa Shalom, Neil Davis, and Myrna Herzog

Gloria Mound, executive director of Casa Shalom, talks about our work at
Gloria Mound, executive director of Casa Shalom, talks about our work at

Myrna Herzog performing
Myrna Herzog performing
 

 

 
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