Origins of Amit Poznansky’s Footnote Suite
Uzi Shalev, Assistant Principal Bassoonist
“It all started in 2012, when I went with my wife Edna to see the film “Footnote.” As we watched this magnificent film, with its very special plot, I whispered to Edna,”What beautiful music!!” The great drama, the father-son story revolving around these two Talmudic scholars and the tension, love and anger between them, captured my heart. But the music, the music, left me breathless.
It is rare to find in Israeli films a soundtrack with music for a symphony orchestra. Here, I found music beautifully written, deep, sad, sweet, crying and laughing at once, at times dramatic and at times melancholic. And what beautiful music for bassoon (my instrument) and other wind instruments! When the film ended, I waited to see who had written this magnificent soundtrack and saw that it was Amit Poznansky (pictured right).
For years, I have been commissioning solo pieces for bassoon from my favorite Israeli composers and I immediately knew that I would be approaching Amit Poznansky shortly. When I contacted him, he said he would be happy to write such a piece but was at the time too busy. Later, when we met, I told him about a concert I was going to perform with an ensemble of clarinet, bassoon and piano. Amit wrote the piece, “Trio for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano” and dedicated it to me. Together with my trio colleagues, Michal Beit Halachmi and Einat Fabrikant we performed the piece and recorded it for YouTube.
Watch Poznansky’s “Trio for Clarinet, Bassoon and Piano”:
I later thought of an idea which I suggested to Amit: “Why don’t you write a symphonic suite from the film music and submit it to the Israeli Music Committee of the IPO?”
The rest is history. Maestro Mehta and the committee members unanimously chose the piece to be performed at the opening of our current season and Maestro Mehta even chose it as the Israeli piece which will be performed in numerous halls across the U.S. during our forthcoming tour. Among them will be Carnegie Hall, Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, the Disney Hall in Los Angeles, and more.
I am very excited about this performance – and know it will be a great one!”
Poznansky’s Footnote Suite for Orchestra was performed as the first piece opening the IPO’s 2017-218 Season on Oct. 10 and 13, 2017 under the baton of Maestro Mehta.