Ehrlich, Abel

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Ehrlich, Abel

Ehrlich, Abel, German-born Israeli composer and teacher; b. Cranz, Sept. 3, 1915. He began violin lessons at the age of 6, and later was a student at the Zagreb Academy of Music (1934–38). After emigrating to Palestine, he studied composition with Rosowsky at the Jerusalem Academy of Music (1939–4). Ehrlich later attended the Darmstadt summer courses in new music under Stockhausen, Nono et al. (1959,1961,1963,1967). He taught composition in various Israeli academies, conservatories, and teacher training colleges. From 1966 to 1982 he was on the faculty of the Univ. of Tel Aviv. He received many awards and prizes for his works. In 1989 he was awarded the Israeli government prize. In 1994 he was awarded the prize of the Soc. of Authors, Composers, and Music Publishers (ACUM) for his life’s work. He received the Israel Prize in Music in 1997. Ehrlich’s prolific output includes scores in every conceivable field. In his early works, he adhered to a Romantic line with infusions of Middle Eastern themes. Later he adopted an advanced idiom marked by a personal amalgam of traditional Jewish cantillation and serialism.


DRAMATIC Immanuel Haromi, musical spectacle (1971); Dead Souls, opera bouffa (1978); Geburtstag einer Bank, Singspiel after Kafka (1995); The Jubilee, chamber opera (1997). ORCH.: A Game of Chess for Jazz Orch. (1957); And Though Thou Set Thy Nest Among the Stars (1969); Evolution (1970); Deliver Them That Are Drawn Unto Death for Strings (1970); 7 Minutes for Strings and Percussion (1971); Divertimento for Oboe, Clarinet, 2 Horns, and Strings (1971); Carolus-Music (1975); Azamer Bishvahin, 5 pieces for Small Orch. (1977); Music for Symphony Orchestra (1990); Our Modest Friend Avraham for Chamber Orch. (1992); Das Buch des Zeichens for Strings (1992). CHAMBER: 6 string quartets (1947, 1947, 1952, 1962, 1967, 1969); Testimony for 2 Flutes (1961); Riv for Violin (1962); Secrets for Flute (1963); 4 wind quintets (1966–70); Music for Cello (1970); Improvisations with a Game in Hell for String Trio (1970); Trio for Horn, Cello, and Percussion (1970); Trio for Violin, Flute, and Bassoon (1971); Trio for Horn, Violin, and Piano (1972); Djerba Dance Song for Oboe (1973); Music for Violin, Cello, Piano, and 2 Tape Recorders (1974); The Beauty from Marseilles for Harp (1977); The Legend of Oof and Whoof for Clarinet, Violin, and Piano (1992); Flee to the Mountains Like a Bird for Chamber Ensemble (1993); Wishful Thinking for String Quartet (1994); And the Doors of the Pit Will Shut, octet (1995); Crossed Over the City Like a Giant Bird for Guitar and String Quartet (1995); Jeremia und Spinoza for Violin (1997). KEYBOARD: Piano : Reincarnations (1965); Sonata (1973); Music (1980); Signature (1982); Mystery of Trees (1990). Organ : Freundschaft in K for Organ, 4-Hands (1994). VOCAL: The Towers and the Shadows for Narrator, Singers, and Instruments (1960); The Writing of Hezekiah for Soprano, Violin, Oboe, and Bassoon (1962; also for Soprano and Chamber Orch.); Echa for Chorus and Chamber Orch. (1970); The Unicorn for 12 Singers, 3 Percussionists, and 3 Oboes (1971); Job 7, 11–16 for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (1971); Ne subito… for Chorus and Orch. (1971); arpmusic for Baritone, Mime, 8 Instruments, and Electroacoustics (1971); For the Memory of Them is Forgotten for Chorus and 5 Instruments (1973); A Vision of God for 8 Groups, each consisting of Soprano, Alto, Violin, and Viola (1975); Let Us Proclaim, oratorio for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1982); Giordano Bruno, semi-oratorio (1986); Because You Are My Kinsman for Soprano, Cello, and Piano (1989).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire