Three Jewish Dances for Piano, Op. 190 (1945)

Sher – Yemenite Wedding Dance – Hora

Note: This version is for Piano Solo. There are also versions for Violin and Piano (Opus 192) and Violin and Orchestra (Op. 192a).

Solo: Piano

Duration: 9 minutes

Publisher: The Marc Lavry Heritage Society

Recordings: Not yet available

A decade after immigrating to Israel Lavry wrote a compilation of Jewish dances. 

  • Sher (Scissors Dance): A Hassidic-Jewish style dance inspired by music to which he was exposed in his childhood.
  • Yemenite Wedding Dance: Lavry, like many other composers at the time, was introduced to Yemenite music by singer Bracha Zfira.
    Unlike typical energetic wedding dances, the wedding dance of the Yemenite bride is gentle, calm and shy. The dance is performed in small steps and soft, round movements of the hands.
  • Hora: In a radio interview Lavry said: “… I remember that after I visited Kibbutz Degania where we danced all night, the dance left a huge impression on me. An endless Hora dance — with shouts and rhythmic legwork — the young people were wonderful.” 
    Lavry adopted the energetic and lively rhythm of the Hora dance which he incorporated in many of his works. In the words of composer Paul Ben-Haim on Lavry: “Lavry’s Symphonic Poem “Emek” was the first example of the penetration of the Hora into concert music, and by creating it Lavry tightened the link between folk and art music”. [Wikipedia]

    Lavry incorporated the melody of this movement into several of his later compositions. The most famous is the Hora song (Opus 206 No. 3) which later achieved the status of a folk song.

Anecdote: Lavry originally wrote five dances. In addition to the three dances that were published, he wrote the “Jewish Dance” and “Oriental Jewish Dance” movements, which he did not include the final work. His handwritten manuscript of all five movements is located at the National Library of Israel.

For research purposes: It is interesting to note that although Three Jewish Dances for Violin and Piano (Opus 192) and for Violin and Orchestra (Opus 192a) are adaptations of the composition for Solo Piano (Opus 190), there were significant differences in the original versions. Opus 190 had five dances (including “Jewish Dance” and “Oriental Jewish Dance”), while Opuses 192 and 192a had six (including “Jewish Dance”, “Pioneer’s Polka” and “Perpetuum Mobile – Hora”.)



Lavry’s Three Jewish Dances at the Indianapolis Spirit and Place Festival
Marc Lavry’s Three Jewish Dances for Piano (Op. 190) will be performed and discussed by pianist Elisabeth Hoegberg as part of “Musical Journeys of Immigrant Composers,” a recital sponsored by the Indianapolis Spirit and Place Festival that explores in music and words how emigration shaped composers’ lives and artistry.

Time: Monday, November 10, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
Location: The Ruth Lilly Performance Hall, University of Indianapolis, 1400 E. Hanna Street, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.

Admission is free. For more information, please visit the Faculty Artist Concert Series 2014-15 page.

Pianist Shoshana Telner performs Lavry
Marc Lavry’s Three Jewish Dances for Piano, Op. 190 will be performed on February 23, 2012 by pianist Shoshana Telner.

The concert, titled Zmirot Amenu: An Evening of Jewish Melodies, begins at 7:30 PM and will be held at the Netkin Auditorium, Adas Israel Congregation, 125 Cline Avenue South, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

For more information, and to purchase tickets, please go to the Adas Israel Congregation website.

One Response to Three Jewish Dances for Piano, Op. 190 (1945)
  1. Rabbi/Cantor Marsha Dubrow, Ph.D.
    August 29, 2014 | 3:52 am

    I would like to use the piano version, Opus 190 for my Rabbinic Installation ceremony to take place on September 14 at Congregation B’nai Jacob inJersey City, NJ. You may recall you kny provide the Kinneret vocal/piano version which I used to great appreciation b h widen at our 2014 YomHasoah observance.

    Please let me know ASAP if you can provide me with Opus 190 piano score ASAP so my pants may prepare.

    In advance, many thanks for your honoring my request.

    Masha Dubrow

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