By COLlive reporter
Earlier this summer Gavriel Eagle of Baltimore joined Pinchas Antal in his hometown of Montreal for a couple weeks of musical collaboration. Theirs was a meeting that was always meant to be.
Gavriel, 13, has been studying and playing the cello since he was seven, though if you ask anybody in his family they would tell you that’s when they started playing music, too. His musical schedule is rigorous: up to two hours daily.
Pinchas, 14, has been playing piano for only four years – it all started with a routine piano lesson all good Jewish parents, or in this case grandparents, take each of their children to – but has since quickly displayed unusual musical talent, spending hours each day at his grand piano.
Beyond their similar musical backgrounds both Gavriel and Pinchas come from Lubavitch homes, and so it only made sense that they get together to explore the music and chassidic heritage they have in common.
The best way to do this, of course, would be to collaborate on a piano and cello duet of a Lubavitch niggun. Problem was, very little if any such arrangements were to be found.
Enter Maestro Israel Edelson, who generously agreed to write an arrangement of the niggun, “Tzamah L’Cha Nafshi,” for them to use.
Apprehensive at first to write such a piece for younger musicians, Edelson was impressed by the talent, skill and, above all, sensitivity with which they put the piece together in the limited time at their disposal.
The way he sees it, this is but one more way of hafotzos ha’ma’ayonos: spreading the beauty and depth of the niggun’s wellsprings in a way only these instruments can.
Before parting ways Gavriel and Pinchas agreed to have a private rehearsal of their duet filmed. Hopefully only the beginning of their collaboration, we invite you to take a moment and be moved by their soul-stirring music.
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