A concert in Joseph Roth’s synagogue

A concert in Joseph Roth’s synagogue


norman lebrecht

August 05, 2019

This is what remains of the Great Synagogue in Brody, once a thriving mainly-Jewish town on the Austrian-Russian border, birthplace of the great writer, Joseph Roth.

The Nazis wrecked the building, the Soviets neglected it.

This week, the Ukrainian conductor Oksana Lyniv led a performance of part of Leonard Bernstein’s Kaddish to mark the 125th anniversary of Joseph Roth’s birth.

Report here.


  • so sad and tragic, yet at the same time oddly wonderful. thank you for sharing this item…

  • sorin braun says:

    sorry but Bernstein wrote sub-mediocre music which is not worth performing.This fake myth needs be busted.With the exception of his West-Side story musical which is partly cute.But this is not classical music.

    • X.Y. says:

      Also his Serenade is a quite worthwhile piece. And even if you abhor his music the fact remains that interpreters who also compose are generally more interesting than those who dont.

      • M2N2K says:

        As interpreters – yes indeed it is true in many cases. But as far as I know LB considered himself a composer who also interprets – not the other way around. And by the way, I believe that WSS is not just “cute” but a masterpiece of its genre.

        • Chris says:

          I certainly share your enthusiasm for West Side Story – I think the score is at once challenging for the performers, and rewarding, but also telling in terms of what it represents in terms of telling a fantastic story. There is also a great amount of ‘word painting’ by the composer – AND, much of it really pulls at the heart-strings.

      • Niovagerio says:

        He was an equally brilliant politician as he was a composer…but…doesn’t it all smell of just that – politics?

    • Maria says:

      Just because many of us absolutely love Berstein’s music including those organising this concert, it doesn’t mean your opinion is superior and we are musical morons. This is about the synagogue and the Jews, and it pays to be gracious and generous in life. You obviously don’t like Berstein’s music or anything it stood for, then simply don’t listen to it!

    • Davyd Booth says:

      What absolute nonsense you just posted. A great deal of his music is absolutely great the symphonys, the violin Serenade, Chichester Psalms. If you don’t like his music don’t listen to it but don’t post this rot

      • Novagerio says:

        Chichester Psalms (!!) – Good grief !!! It’s Fauré and Stravinsky in a Broadway show set in Puerto Rico and Jerusalem parallelly !!! – personally, I’ll settle with the one’s Requiem and the others Symphony of Psalms…
        Oh, and yes, the Serenade is quiet cute.

    • Fan says:

      Busted fake myth will be truth though.

    • Herbert Glass says:

      I thought this was about Joseph Roth. But perhaps the name wasn’t familiar, so you took the opportunity to blast Bernstein. By the way, what’s a “fake myth”?

    • esfir ross says:

      Thank you, Sorin Braun for express my opinion on LB composition!

  • John Kelly says:

    …..not sure there’s a border between Austria and Russia (or the Soviet Union), it looks like Czechoslovakia and Hungary are in the way……………

  • 8VA says:

    Brody is in Ukraine – Lviv Region. It’s not in Russia.

  • Mike Schachter says:

    A truly great writer, still not well enough known.

  • Novagerio says:

    Oh, and by the way Normy, “Austrian-Russian border”, check out the map of Europe just in case, unless you are back to the days of the Habsburgs…

  • C_Porumbescu says:

    The past is a foreign country, and clearly a lot of the commenters on this thread don’t get out much…

    • Novagerio says:

      Simple: “once a thriving mainly-Jewish town on the FORMER Austrian-Russian border” would have made a difference.

      • M2N2K says:

        That would definitely be wrong. The word “once” is a sufficient indicator that the sentence refers to the time of JR’s birth when it was a “thriving mainly-Jewish town” and the border was NOT “former” but very much current indeed.

  • Edgar Self says:

    Patience, amici. Mr. Lebrecht is still looking for music to proof-read by. NMext stop for me: Kiwipedia and “Reader’s Encyclopedia” to look up Joseph Roth.