This week on Ether Game's Weekly Podcast, the Brain Trust celebrates the first night of Hanukkah with a show we're callingÂ "Festival Of Lights."Â We'll be highlighting some prominent Jewish musicians... can you name this tune?Â Remember to keep your ears out for a portion of Tuesday night's Teaser selection. And don't forget to tune into the full show onÂ Tuesday,Â December 12th at 8:00pmÂ for a chance to win a prize!
Felix Mendelssohn (1809â1847) â ELIJAH: He, Watching Over Israel
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra & Chorus; Robert Shaw, conductor.Â ElijahÂ (Telarc)
Felix Mendelssohn was born into one of the most prominent Jewish families in Europe in the 19th century. His paternal grandfather was the famous 18th-century Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn. However, Felix's father Abraham the need to hide their Jewish heritage, and assimilate into German culture-no doubt anti-Semitic sentiment, also prominent in Germany in the 19th century, played a part in this decision. Abraham adopted the Christian last name "Bartholdy" from his brother-in-law, who likewise used that last name to cover up his own Jewish heritage. Felix felt less comfortable adopting "Bartholdy," despite his father's wishes. He was proud of his heritage, even though he wrote Christian oratorios like Elijah. Yet Mendelssohn's Jewish heritage was one of the reasons his music was criticized by anti-Semites like Richard Wagner. Mendelssohn's entire religious history is a study in how difficult it must have been to be Jewish in Germany in the 19th century.