On Saturday, May 4, 2019 the National Chamber Winds will present "Old, New, Borrowed, Blue," a program of diverse pieces for chamber winds. Included will be Salomon Jadassohn's Serenade, op. 104.
Salomon Jadassohn (1831-1902), a student of Franz Lizst and graduate of Mendelssohn’s Leipzig Conservatory, was a German composer and pianist in the late 19th century. While most of his contemporaries attempted to gain positions in churches upon graduation, Jadassohn’s status as a Jewish man complicated not only his ability to gain employment but also negatively affected public reception to his works. Jadassohn began working at the Leipzig synagogue but soon became a professor at the Leipzig conservatory, gaining prowess as an instructor of piano and composition.
Jadassohn's works were widely unpopular during his life due to rampant antisemitism. (thus the "blue"). While Richard Wagner’s music flourished in a rapidly anti-Jewish Germany, Jadassohn’s drew criticism which is widely accepted as unwarranted in the present day. Additionally, he was often outshone by Carl Reinecke, a world-renowned fellow pianist and composer also providing instruction at the Leipzig Conservatory. The 21st century has brought about a reexamination of Jadassohn’s genius as an expert in counterpoint, leading to an increase in performance of his works.