Research Topics for Academics

Marc Lavry and his compositions present a plethora of research topics for academics. Below are a few we’d like to propose. To further discuss any topic, or to develop your own, feel free to reach out to us at music@marclavry.org. We may be able to help with references and material. 

Marc Lavry: Documentary Music

The Bible in Lavry’s Work

Marc Lavry’s European Period


Marc Lavry: Documentary Music

Practically every major event in the State of Israel between the years 1935-1967 was documented in music by composer Marc Lavry, who was considered the National Composer. A significant portion of his musical work documented events, illustrated landscapes and demonstrated the Israeli experience.  

 

Suggestion for research structure:

  Bibliography:

Relevant compositions:

Landscapes: 

Celebrations and Jubilees:  For any ceremony, celebration or jubilee, the national composer, Marc Lavry, was asked to write a song to mark the occasion.

Events:


The Bible in Lavry’s Work

Marc Lavry has always been connected to Judaism. During the rise of the Nazis, he wrote many works with Jewish subjects. His affinity for Judaism started at a young age. He used to tell that he remembered Hassidic melodies that his father had chanted.

 

Although his connection with Judaism was strong, his interest in the Bible started only after he immigrated to Israel, in 1935. His wife, Helena Lavry, who was a journalist and a wordsmith, was the one who exposed him to the Bible. She selected, read and explained the texts to him. Lavry was fascinated with the lyrics, the stories and the drama that ignited his imagination and inspired his work.

His Bible was always placed on his piano.

 

Suggestion for research structure:

 

Part I: The uniqueness of Lavry’s biblical works is expressed first and foremost in his Israeli style.

 

 

Part II: A dramaturge (playwright) in music: Lavry possessed a rare talent for expressing the drama in the musical composition and presenting its main elements. Even his concert biblical compositions were written as if intended for a stage and actors.

 

Bibliography:


Marc Lavry’s European Period

The style of Composer Marc Lavry’s compositions prior to immigrating to Israel is inherently different from that of his quintessential Israeli style.

Anecdote: Musicologist Efrat Lavry, the composer’s daughter, shares that she can recognize any work her father wrote in Israel, but when she hears a composition he composed before immigrating to Israel, she has difficulty recognizing it as her father’s work.

Suggestion for research structure:

1. Stylistic analysis

Composer Marc Lavry studied composition at the most well-known institutes in Europe (the prestigious Leipzig Conservatory and the Stern Conservatory in Berlin) and studied under Prof. Joseph Vitol of Riga, Paul Garner in Leipzig and Alexander Glazonov in Berlin. Lavry, who was still young, was mostly influenced by the European styles that surrounded him.

 

Stylistic characteristics:

2. Genres in Lavry’s compositions from his European period

Genres:

 

Themes:

 

Bibliography:

Note on locating music from the European period: Not all sheet music has been preserved and we know of some of his works only from Lavry’s opus notebook. There is also a handful of compositions that do not appear in the composer’s opus book but information can be found in articles and reviews. 

Lavry was not detailed in documenting his compositions. In some cases he wrote the name of the composition without the year, and at most he documented the year of the first performance of said composition. When he remembered a composition he had written but not entered into his book, he added it in a non-chronological order; for example, in 1946 he added to the opus book compositions he wrote between the years 1929-1939 which he did not previously document.

 

Resources:

 

Orchestral Music:

  

Music for Ballet:

 

Music for the theater:

 

Movie Soundtracks:

 

Experimental Music:

 

Latvian and Russian Themes:

 

Jewish Themes: