The Art of Storytelling – Lubin, from Chelm

Music from Wyastone – Studio Concert Series

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David Yang  Lubin, from Chelm


English Symphony Orchestra
Conductor: Kenneth Woods
Narrator: Henry Goodman
Illustrator: Alisa Snyder

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About this Concert

A hilarious re-telling of the traditional English folk tale, Lazy Jack, relocated to the Ukrainian shtetl and brought to life with abundantly witty Yiddish turns of phrase and evocative Klezmer musical stylings by Jewish-American composer David “Yankele” Yang and orchestrated by Kenneth Woods, with narration by Olivier award-winning Henry Goodman.

ESO’s ‘Art of Storytelling’ project presents world premiere recordings and broadcasts of five exceptional works for narrator and orchestra. From the cheeky humour of the Brothers’ Grimm to the touching tale of Hans Christian Andersen’s Ugly Duckling, and from the Jewish humour of Lubin from Chelm to the ancient Egyptian tale of The Warrior Violinist, this is classic family entertainment for the modern age at its finest, a powerful synthesis of great literature and great music.

Discover More

About the Narrator - Henry Goodman

Henry Goodman

Henry Goodman is a leading English actor who has worked extensively in television, film and in theatre (Broadway, West End, NT & RSC). On stage in the UK, Goodman played the role of Arturo Ui in “Arturo Ui”, Shylock in “The Merchant of Venice”, Billy Flynn in “Chicago” and Charles Guiteau in “Assassins”. On Broadway he played the title role in Tartuffe and Serge in “Art” among others. He has won numerous awards for his theatre work. TV credits include Sir Humphrey in “Yes, Prime Minister” and more recently “The New Pope”. Film credits include “The Chosen One”, “The Last Planet”, “The Good Traitor”, “Avengers: Age of Ultron”, “Their Finest”, “The Limehouse Golem”, “Woman in Gold”, “Notting Hill”, “Hunter Killer”, “Driftwood” and “Love Gets A Room”. Recent audio work includes: “Victoria Park” by Gemma Reeves, “Jaws” by Peter Benchley and ‘Fall: The Mystery of Robert Maxwell by John Preston both for BBC Radio 4.


David Yang

Unholy offspring of a Chinese landscape photographer and Jewish yenta from Brooklyn, violist and composer David Yang has collaborated with members of the Borromeo, Brentano, Jasper, Lark, Tokyo, Vermeer String Quartets, amongst others. David was raised in New York City and is Artistic Director of the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival and Director of Chamber Music at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

He was the Director of Auricolae Music and Storytelling Troupe,which he founded having reconnected with his love of storytelling while reading to his young daughters –

About the Arranger - Kenneth Woods

Kenneth Woods

Kenneth Woods (Kalman Valdberg) is an American conductor, composer, cellist, writer and guitarist, now resident in the United Kingdom. He is Artistic Director of the English Symphony Orchestra, Colorado MahlerFest and The Elgar Festival. Credits as an arranger/orchestrator include an orchestral version of Brahms’ Piano Quartet in A Major, recorded by the ESO and hailed as one of the Ten Best Classical CDs by The Arts Desk in London. Other arrangements include chamber versions of works by Mahler, Schubert, and Wagner, and orchestra versions of quartets by Tchaikovsky, Bloch, and Ullmann. Post. Recent ESO recordings under Woods’ baton include the Third Symphony of Philip Sawyers (Gramophone Magazine Critics’ Choice “Best of 2017”), and the first complete recording of the piano concertos of Ernst Krenek in two volumes (Best Recordings of 2016 – The Sunday Times, Best Recordings of 2017 – Forbes Magazine). He also records with the Royal Philharmonic, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Northern Sinfonia, English Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Swan, with whom he won the coveted Diapason d’or for their premiere recording of the complete symphonies of Hans Gál.
About the Illustrator - Alisa Snyder

Alisa Snyder was born in Providence, Rhode Island but she has lived most of her life in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Landscape and still life are the primary subjects of her painting, and central to her work is an emotional response to nature. Her love of music has always been a part of her life and practice as a visual artist, and illustrating David Yang’s score and story was a special pleasure.

About Musical Storytelling: Zoë Beyers in conversation with David Yang and Kenneth Woods

ESO Leader Zoë Beyers talks to Kenneth Woods and David Yang about the evolution of the Auricolae Music and Storytelling project which gave birth to many of the the storytelling works featured in our series.


The Music Room series is produced by Shropshire Music Trust and supported by Arts Council England.

Production Information

Recorded at Wyastone Concert Hall, Monmouth, on 30th July 2020

Orchestra Sessions
Orchestra Manager: Simon Brittlebank / The Music Agency
Stage Manager: Ed Hayes / The Music Agency
Producer & Editor: Tim Burton
Engineer & Editor: Matthew Swan
Voice-over Sessions
Producer & Editor: Tim Burton
Engineer: Richard Cottle