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Our guest Yael Cherni shares with us her dynamic career as a Soprano, Conductor, and Lecturer. She discusses her experiences in chamber “lieder” music and her love of Gershwin. She also discusses the difference between being an artist and an entertainer.
A very accomplished talent in three creative disciplines. Yael has excelled in her career as a formidable talent that has been appreciated by audiences from all over the world. Yael also gives us a musical snack with a selection from Schuman and Gershwin.
Op. 13 No.1 – Clara Schumann & Heinrich Heine
Yael Cherni: Piano & Soprano – EMBRACEABLE YOU – George & Ira Gershwin
During her busy schedule, she even managed to write a book “Classical Music: Undressed” dedicated to “Anyone who appreciates the beauty of art” which was recently published and available on Amazon.
Episode 41: Yael Cherni The Difference Between Being and Artist and an Entertainer
00:00:15 – 00:05:05
Congrats to us today. We are celebrating our forty first episode. Yup will ever be in our thirties again but we sure had some good times with all of these wonderful people. sure did each every one of those episodes. They’re pretty special. I really liked them very creative. People every single one of them. Yes we’re heading into our forties and we have some pretty interesting enemies shows ahead. Yes hi everyone and here. We are celebrating. What people loved to do creatively by giving them a voice. I’m rod jones in. I’m angie jones. Welcome to the thought row. Show we invite you to follow us wherever you listen and just to let you know our episodes are always absolutely free to listen to and of course you can check us out of bought rope. Podcast dot com where you can listen to any or all of our episodes on our website. Yes and i liked that part about free. Because actually some podcasts. Or now starting to charge. But i don’t think you and i are gonna go that route there but you know what we would love to hear from you. Don’t be shy. You can always reach us through our websites contact page and let us know your thoughts. Yeah and that is. It’s called thought. Row podcast because we want to hear your thoughts because we always learn from each other boy. I know i sure learn. Yeah before i ask you. Share your quote. Who are we going to be featuring on our new segment which is called. What are they up to now. Well this week’s feature is aka fielding angelina completed writing and publishing her book entitled rough diamond. She is now busily proponent her book which is a biography of one of alexander hamilton son. Who was a mid west pioneer. She is also busy writing her next book a biography. On abraham lincoln. Called abraham lincoln hoosier additionally she has just started a small business venture and furniture and home decor. She will bring her passion for textile art that you can find in her handmade journals to this project along with her beautiful art. Congratulations stand jelena’s though that’s pretty exciting publishing a book and now having it in distribution ian. Oh i remember that episode. I was very popular and we talked about journaling something that i personally have never done that. I ever remember. But after that episode. I actually played around with it. Yeah i can understand that. I tried journaling when i was eleven or twelve but it didn’t last too long. It lasted about two days. Very short lived because at eleven or twelve. There was not a whole lot journal. About except my undying love for donny. Osmond toe yes girls. Fascination with donny. Oh gosh well. I consider that to be funny. Because i remember at ages by age between eleven and twelve. I l rewritten my first novel. Yeah exactly in your dreams. You did that. They great is probably laugh. Okay so now. Let’s hear your quote edgy. Okay the quote for this week is to send light into the darkness of men’s hearts. Such as the duty of the artist and that is by robert schumann Robert schuman rights great composer of music. A piano music primarily right. Yeah you have about him when you let him out. Because i don’t know a ton about. I know a little bit about him but i thought i’d go ahead and read a little bit to our listeners. So they might know a little bit about robert. Robert schumann was a german romantic composer renowned particularly for his piano music leader songs which is chamber music and orchestral music. Many of his best known piano pieces were written for his wife. The pianist clara schumann. If anybody that ever listened to classical music on special classical radio stations years no who. Robert schuman is Say i wouldn’t exactly see his household name. Like maybe beethoven or mozart but he definitely is extremely accomplished beautiful music.
00:05:05 – 00:10:01
If you have an opportunity to listen to some of his music you’ll be excited to. And i also have to say there’s going to be a little surprise towards the end of the show. Yeah interview but now where it’s your turn ron. We’re ready herod’s motivational movement. Okay this kind of percolated through what i experienced over the last few days So here we go to create your own. Restful heart let your pet sit in your lap and you will know what unconditional love truly is and that was because we’ve been watching our daughter’s dog for over week and deng named lucy. Yeah when lucy would jump up in my lap. And i pattern. She’d hang around for well. It made me feel really relaxed inside. It was kind of a very peaceful thing to do. Have an epithet and it could be a cat could be any. Yeah i can be any pat really. But what’s interesting about pets. As they do have undying love they would they would die for you. Basically to protect you a lot of dogs and what’s interesting is when you’re putting them is hid it actually releases hormones in your body. I think it’s oxytocin. Yeah think so. That makes you feel love and good. Well they’re they’re talks. Put up with a lot from us. Humans and And they just showed. True unconditional love. And so. if you haven’t pat hammam hop up in your lab right now while you listen to her belly rub in beli really you know. I really don’t know if are very talented. Guest has a pet. But i do know she loves to go to the park and rejuvenate which i understand helps her creativity that makes sense. It does make sense. And you know i remember when we were initially talking to her on the telephone before our interview today that she mentioned that but I think now it’s time for us to bring our guest. Ual cherney here with us today. Great the al. This interview with you is going to be a very special one because we’ll get to listen to you perform a couple of your songs. Yes we always appreciate it when we can share with our listeners. What people have to do creatively with their voice and playing the piano. Hi thank you for having me. Oh you got it so before. We officially start our interview. We always like to ask our guests what they had for breakfast. Actually i have fruits for breakfast. Eight very lights actually takes me time to wake up in the morning. I’m that kind of girl. But later. On i comes in say. Yeah but i eat very light in the morning fruits coffee. that’s about. It’s what’s your favorite fruit in the morning. Well i’m in love with passiflora with passion fruits. Oh that’s nice can eat passion foods. Yeah all night long and all the along and mangoes and grapefruit at you. Know depends on on the season. Yeah yeah you know. Let’s start with you telling us where you are speaking to us from right now. Yeah okay. So i’m speaking from where i’m based in which is tel aviv israel. Although i was going boston i grew up in jerusalem after a few years in europe in the states came back to israel and i came back to tel aviv. Wow that’s a big city though right yet. That’s slept the center of the culture and arts in israel You can somehow related to new york in states. This is where things happening in general so for artists. That usually would be the place for us to evening. Yes okay that makes a lotta sense now. I know that yet. I know that you sing. But how old were you when you started to sing okay. So the history of the family says that. I was very weird as a as a baby as a child. And i actually. I didn’t speak to a very late. Age till i was actually three and a half stone. Well i yet bat. I did thing all the time. And i drove my family. My parents crazy. So i i follow cliche and did seem before i could talk okay but when i was i think when i was five win i was five year old. I asked to play the piano. I insisted on playing piano. So i started playing the piano.
00:10:02 – 00:15:01
Nobody wanted to teach me because they wanted me to know the language and to know how to right before. I could play but i insisted and convinced a piano teacher. Teach me and i wasn’t satisfied with the piano. And so asked my mom to luke for a choir for me to sing gain. Any took her. It took us. Tiller was nine year old. Find a professional choir. I wanted to sing in a professional acquired so he found a very professional acquiring jerusalem when i was nine year old and it was a wire that used to travel all over the world and to sing with really the best orchestras and conductors. We stand with the berliner film. Monique we send we that at london. Feel with zubin meta with cloud bondo with the wind. Mozelle with really the big names so since i was nine year old i was actually in the professional scene of the classical musical world and i had two additional the time and i hardly went to school and i leave. You could say a life of a of a mature quite a a girl young girl you can say totally you know for you did you. Since you were doing this at such a young age was this a lot of pressure for you. Did you feel like you know as a little overwhelming. Sometimes it was totally overwhelming and it was very very stressing you out bats. It didn’t really matter. I’ll try to explain. I had to sing it something. That’s i find hard to explain to people who don’t have the need back. I really i had to sing for me. Not singing schubert’s from the minute. I sent shubert in the choir. I knew that it was my place. I knew that this was the place for me. This was the way for me to be alive in a way. And i know it sounds very dramatic but as a child. This is seriously how i felt so alone. My parents were not only into the musical career and the i cannot blame there because my childhood was full of stress still. They couldn’t do anything about it. Because i really needed to sink hold. Were you when you left boston then. No nothing. I was two year old or something. I cannot remember anything came back to boston. Only when only a few years ago. When i was a luckily invited to lecture there and that was actually for me the first time being in boston. I couldn’t remember anything bats. I did feel very tone. Say did you start your lecture by telling everybody. This is my hometown release. That’s where i was. Actually no i know. No i didn’t show that information okay. So you were just talking about developing the passion for music. I feel like with you. It was just from the moment you were born that you had this huge passion for music. And you just really followed your passion. Tell us a little bit about that. As far as where do you think that this passion comes from passionate. I think it’s a need. It’s a need i have music in my head’s most of the day and most of the night Sometimes i find it very hard to just fall asleep. Because i can have shuman in my head and it will be hard for me to just stop. Yeah i think it’s Psychological problems in the world. And i think maybe maybe musician suffered from something. That is totally notre logic. I i don’t know maybe it’s our brain. The music is just there. And i just leave talking to you and doing many actions in my life but i- parallelly have music in my head most of the day in the night. That’s excellent. no not not always time to read the book. If i tried to read the book that i need to read write. It can be a struggle for me. I think that’s what helps you to be such an accomplished a soprano and classical singer. But you know the interesting thing. Is you also accompany yourself with the piano while you sing. I don’t know how you can manage to to both of those talents at the same time and seems tough. How do you do it well. It’s it’s very uncommon in classical music to singer to accompany her or himself on the piano. We don’t do this. You’re referring to to what what i’m specializing on which is chamber music which is leading the art song the especially the german artistic song which is the most times composed for piano soprano or any other kind of a senior.
00:15:01 – 00:20:16
I don’t call myself a pianist. But i do play the piano. Let’s say semi professionally. I was encouraged by a very dear colleague of mine. A few years ago when i had to interview for the german media and my county’s couldn’t couldn’t show up at the last minute so my colleague said you know what l. Just company yourself. You can do this. So i was actually thrown to the water and i did ever seen. I started recording myself. Doing eat and giving concerts this way. Because i did find that the combination of myself doing both things creates something that is very united and very whole Very unique to very unique common it’s non orthodox at all and there are minuses in this format. Let’s say let’s be honest. Bats faint goal of chamber music is is to aspire the ultimat- the ultimate togetherness you can say of musicians. I do manage to have this There are no conflicts between me and another musicians. The piano and the voice are totally united. So the telepathy is perfect. It’s not that. I don’t have criticism regarding my work but on this aspect that i can say that this is the. Pc’s told there are no holes in it. It’s the same mind expressed in two different instruments. The voice and the piano perfect. You know i know g. Has i do question knowing that you sink classical music. What other types of music do you sing. I think mainly classical music. Because i’m trained vocally sway and if i try to sing something like crock or puck. I i sound like a frog. I sound horribly. Who know the only thing that i do flare tweed as what you can say classical light music such as mainly american early twenty th century of gasoline and germ kern and of course bernstein which is half-and-half you can say movies sir Yeah so When it comes to light jazz light. American music I find myself completely comfortable there. But the of vocal production he’s totally is is mainly classical Since we’re on the topic of seeing this would be a great opportunity for you to sing something from one of your favorite pieces. Okay so introduce your music selection and if you were accompanying yourself on the piano or not okay. So i think we can start with one of class. Schuman’s a leader in which company myself on the piano is will meet salita by haina He wrote the lyrics. The wonderful tremendous lyrics and it’s called Stand in doone clan toy man which means i stood in a dark dream angry will. Let’s let’s hear it a senior I suspected that was gonna be wonderful and it was.
00:20:16 – 00:25:02
It was so. Thank you so much for sharing that with us. Thank you thank you for listening. Okay now. I have a question when i hear anyone saying and i’m always curious. Do you have certain things that you like to do before a performance to prepare you yourself and your voice well binga. Classical singer is really really demanding. You really have to make sure you’re very extremely healthy. Ever from allergies fused suffer from something very small like coughing whatever. Any small thing affects us so we are very vulnerable. Therefore it’s it’s not for nothing that we’re cold many times divas. we’ve we protect. We protect ourselves but actually we don’t have any other way to handle this very fragile situation. So i have to say i have to be honest. I cannot talk to anyone before i have to perform. I cannot communicate. I need to be. I have to concentrate and i have to be an asylum situation. If someone refers to me i can be. I can be very not nice. Let’s say the. I need some peaceful time before before i go on stage. Sure to own and get you in the as they say in zone. You’re your where your mind needs to be so you can perform properly. What are your favorite classical pieces that you like to perform in Kinda like if you’re in a opera performance for example when there’s other people on the stage with you sa- for me would be chamber music. Because that’s what i mainly do a so My my favorite composers are schober. Showman bombs bumps is actually my lover. Yes it’s very serious between f seriously brahms’s if someone says something bad about drums. I take totally personally. Those are the composers. I feel extremely connected to their like. They’re part of my my my dad’s sure it’s it’s it’s really in my skin. It’s it’s inside me see. That’s so wonderful when you’re when you’re feeling it from deep within you and your singing and you’re expressing yourself creatively like that. I think that’s really what connects with the audience and what really resonates with people at that point feeling. I think i think those composers braided music to be to be shared right. Yeah and send from the still sung from the souls from the heart and not just somebody just passively singing right those people in my is they put their real guts on the table and they said this is who i am and they were very brave being able to share the the true so with other so the amount of respect that i share towards those people is incredible and it took me. I’ll say it took me a long time to understand that. Actually they were human beings. they weren’t something above. they were actually human beings. It’s something that i can’t say. I really understand well. They they certainly had their vulnerabilities like all human beings but there was something really special and precious that they were able to lay down and music That’s so true. Yes yes okay. So i understand that you have another piece that you would like to share with us and it’s one of your favorite popular pieces can using now. Tell us what it is. What you’re saying. Tell us how you selected this from your repertoire. Okay so i suggest. We hear embraceable you by george and ira wean brothers who i admire so much. American revolutions both of them extremely extremely brave people in all terms and embraceable you. I think he’s one of the well. I can grade gasoline. Spices and and standards bets thirtysomethings. So pure in this in a song. Something so simple. Just embraceable you. You know the ability of someone to look at someone else in just love him for what he is not what he can produce a what not what he can give you just just loving someone else.
00:25:02 – 00:30:02
So that’s a beautiful way that you sensors to introduce. Let’s hear it An all time classic one A piece of music that americans dearly love and thank you for sharing that with semantic and gorgeous beautiful. Thank you so much. You’re you know. I’d like to know what the differences are between being an artist and being an entertainer. That’s a very complex set question. I’ll try. I’ll try to produce something that makes sense in my is first of all. There’s a great area in which art can be entertainment and vice versa. But if they have to look at. It’s you know in an extreme way and to define the two. I’ll say that in my eyes. Entertainment is something that created in order to assist someone to be out of himself out of his corps out of his own body and solitaire. they slave in hebrew. The root of the word means to be spread away. Yeah to be unfocused however art. I think asked the sole something completely else may be the opposite. It asks the invi individual to looking inside himself and to reconnect with parts of his soul. That usually in the daily life is not connected with or she is not connected with any demand something else demands and intimacy of an individual with him or herself. That is completely else than entertainment. Maybe the very opposite I could see that though. You know because if you’re really like you are feeling what you’re singing. I think there’s a different dimension to your performance as opposed to someone.
00:30:02 – 00:35:01
That’s just there to give you a good time. I mean that’s that’s two different ways of entertaining yet. But i would like to mention that for me being an audience to good entertainment eased divine. The also i think it’s very spiritual to be out of yourself. Also you know and to be able to disconnect with yourself to something completely us first of all i think it’s extremely healthy But also thinking spiritual term. Sorry for my very spiritual language. I’m not know adversely fascinating. I love it i. I also think that entertainment when it’s really when it’s good it be divined also in spiritual terms absolutely grading e. entertainment to be something that he’s less. Just think it addresses different parts of the soul We’ll help out the audiences you’re performing in front of two different audiences which would be your favorite like singing the pop more teens or or the chamber music. Oh yeah you know. I actually had seriously the comedian and he’s a comedian. In which part of the concert was tony. Entertainment and the audience left. Which is something that you know in concert in the console rarely happens. It’s not our goal to have to. And i have to say that. It was extremely satisfying being able to make someone laugh someone laughs. It’s just it’s well. It’s incredible because they think laughing is it’s such a deep reflect something so fenwick just you cannot fake it and i think both i think if i made someone. I had the privilege to be addressed by physician who had a very complex so dreary last week and asked permission to use my voice in the. Er yeah yes and actually someone who adores medicine for me. It was one of the peaks one of the highlight of my life thinking that my voice can assist you know a certain in his divine divine job for me. I felt really privileged. I told him. Of course there. Whatever you want your physician. You’re allowed to do anything you want in order to save lives so it moved me. It moved me a lot. I can imagine you know we need to. I don’t want to miss this next question. Angie has well. Yeah but i do want to say. I think that’s the highest compliment. You could have or having a doctor. Saying i want this. Because it’s going to motivate and keep them up and going really nice logistical. Yeah medicinal absolutely. Yeah if i wasn’t a musician would probably be a a physician And and for me. I felt like wow okay so i didn’t do this way but might but somehow i managed to be present at the only situation for me surgeries. Like wow the talk. I admire this world so i felt extremely privileged by could see that. I mean totally. Okay now i’m going to ask you a question that i have on my notes here before our time runs out and you are a music conductor and i suspect that that’s very challenging occupation share with us how you got into conducting and how it inspires your own personal music. At when i was about fourteen. I i heard mallow and brahms symphonies i also sand in britain will wear them with court and i was very intrigued About the score. What the conductor held and were where the notes of all the orchestras and choirs. And the soloist are. This is like the the soul of the piece the notes themselves. So i was extremely curious about it and i thought that the ability to have one hundred twenty people in front of you and navigate during to petition and to express what brands wanted and what maller wanted and to be in charge of this huge responsibility. I thought wow. It’s like being the pilots. It’s like being so privileged to to make me alive. And i thought that the symphonic seemed funny crip Was so incredible and as senior. I had hardly any connection with it. So i had this dream when i was fifteen that i was acting maller. But the words any women conductors back then I had no model. When i had in israel we have to. We have to serve in the army.
00:35:02 – 00:40:01
So and i ended this chapter in my life which is horrible. I decided i tried not to be musician. And i went. And i studied philosophy for a while but of course it failed and after a few months i i went to the academy drew a very impulsively and i told them i wanna getting. I wanted to get into the orchestra conducting department. It was an impulse. I never i never planned it. I just took the bus and landed there and edition the next day. And i got accepted. Congratulations that’s wonderful. Two years ago. And i was hardly shape. Pag wasn’t doing i. I hardly with music for for two years so it was. It was quite a miracle and then when i when i conflict my my first degree as we give my artist degree might be here. I decided they’ll go to the states. And addition to my masters and i. I hardly had any real experience with orchestras. We hardly had the opportunity to conduct orchestras back. Then we headed only twice a year maximum but luckily i got accepted. And i could choose where i would do my masters so i went to the states and i kept on thinking fam. How parallelly to this. That’s that’s pretty amazing that you’re able to accomplish. That says one of your many talents in also after mention may be win quickly discussed this yearbook In fact that’s how we found out about that sells the little. Tell us the title and the topic of your book by the way picked that up on amazon and it is quite good but tell us tell us the title jolly topic thank you. Yes oh the title is classical music andress. I wanted to share my knowledge as a musician as a performer. And as a lecturer as well so i actually wear different hats you can say. I’m a conductor on soprano. And i’m a lecturer i. They erected and i was the artistic director of many different festivals. And i also started a radio classical station in israel. So i wanted to. You know all i sama managed to gather a during the years and i wanted to share it with the audience during kavi time all my stage activity with cancelled and i thought at least it’ll be useful to someone in the fraud and i sat and i wrote this book in which i i do several different things but i refer to topics that you can say. That mostly are not that discussed and saved for their beck seen stage. Let’s let’s say these topics such as the saw what we what. We deal with of musicians as performers from a young age gender and music. It’s not such a common knowledge for people to know that women were very very young discriminated doing history and they paid price for this bat also meant paid for this vague and i mentioned it. Yes in the book. We’re going to have a link for your book show. I wanted to kind of a follow question with that because the book is exciting to reno people will want to pick it up but what i would like to know in five words or less. What would you tell people that. Want to be more. Creative or live more creatively. I’m not sure. I’m the address. This i think what we lack in our time. Modern tanzi can say is is the ability to just stare at something the ability to go to the park and stare at a tree and just be present at the moment and to be able to to just be there and not thinking about how useful you are at the same moment or how good you are the same moment or what else you have to accomplish in order to be. Oh this world they think the ability to just freeze freeze yourself for an hour for more. I think it enable something in the soul in our era is is hardly acceptable in harley possible. I think that’s a great answer very trails so entirely true we we have that opportunity because the where we live and we do try to focus on things that nature presents and just keep her mind focused on that right. You know. i’m gonna ask you the question. We ask everyone on the show.
00:40:01 – 00:43:45
And i love their answers because they’re very individual in very personal in. That is if you could sit on a park bench and chat with anyone from the past. Who would it be so many to choose. I look for. I think i’ll go for gas when okay because gershwin guest wayne was a wild man who didn’t follow. Any rule was extremely brave. He wasn’t provocative it wasn’t his thing. Not in my eyes. He was truly authentic with himself and he served what he thought was best. His private life was a in. My eyes. were were incredible and handle them very bravely and of course when it comes to the music he we owe him. What what what we can now cole jazz and yeah yeah i think he was so brilliant and yet also another another extremely important thing about his personality which i cannot say unfortunately about other composers. He had the ability to laugh at himself and and humor was such a significant part of his work and his personality and says For me the ability to laugh at yourself felt humor. I don’t know if you have this term. Do you know what he would be very proud to know that you would like to sit on a bench with him. And i suspect now suspect he would greatly enjoy his conversation with. You would be totally my hands together. You’re an extremely talented. So many creative ways and you’ve been wonderful to chat with both engine. I really enjoyed chatting with you. And i thank you for sharing a bit of your creative life with us. Yes thank you it was. It was an honor. And i really enjoy talking to you seriously. Thank you so much we did too. And we love how inspirational you are. And i think our listeners are really going to feel your the freedom you have to express yourself on many levels of creativity so thank you for that so enlightening i think. Thank you for billing me these. Because it’s it’s a ten go as we said you need do for this and thank you very much for just the asking those smart and sensitive questions and being such good listeners. It’s a lot you gave wonderful. Answer yes you did. And then also i want to let our listeners. Know that if you’d like to know more about y’all we will have links for her. Under the show guest tab on thought row podcasts dot com so everyone can learn more about her and please link up with her on social media and check out our website. You’ll be very impressed with her. Absolutely goodbye for now from such an interesting guest. I wish you the warmest regards. Invest wishes thank you so i’m really glad you tuned in today. We hope you enjoy the thoughts of ideas we shared with you. We post a new podcast every week. So remember to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. So you don’t miss an episode. So it’s by for now from my husband wrought an eye wishing everyone a great day