She just left a long, heartfelt comment about Herschel Bernardi, after having seeing the piece and video posted here about him. Since I suspect that most people don't read comments too often, I wanted to re-post it here. I do so not just because it's so touching about her close friend, but also it relates to another video I wasn't planning on posting, but now will.
By the way, when she mentions Lorenzo Music, he was himself a highly admired writer (notably for many of the MTM TV series), but became best known as the voice of 'Carlton the Door Man,' on Rhoda, and then later as the voice of Garfield.
Thanks, Bob, for uncovering this gem of a master class of musical performing.
For a number of years, until his death, Herschel was one of my closest friends. We met at a place that's no longer there, a weight-loss resort called Bermuda Inn, in Lancaster. In our off-hours, when we were bemoaning our growling stomachs, Herschel and I would sneak off to a corner where there was a (finely-tuned) piano, and I would accompany him while he sang. He had just recovered from a lung operation and could only sing softly, but a softly-singing Herschel was more magnificent than most brilliant singers in full strength.
What you, Bob, and the others saw in his performance here is who Herschel was. Deeply understanding, deeply nuanced, and the humor -- my god, the humor.
I've often felt that Herschel was, in many ways, my mentor in life, His wisdom often made me gasp. Late in life Herschel was working on a one-man show called "Jew" about what it meant to be a Jew. I read some of it and it was magnificent. It was also silly and funny and highly introspective. He felt he needed a co-writer and asked for my advice -- I put him together with Lorenzo Music (oddly enough, also known for his voice). The two worked together for a while but then, for some reason I don't remember, the collaboration stopped. Had he finished it and performed it, what a triumph that would have been.
I miss him so much. His much much too-early death (I hate that word) left a gap in my life, and all the others who loved him through friendship or through his performances. This glorious tape brought it all back to me: the elegance of his mind and heart and his fearlessness in letting the audience see it all.
I'm not sure what this comes from, but it looks to be an appearance on an Israeli TV show. It's black-and-white and takes place in a small room filled with young people sitting around. Because the room is so small and the "audience" so close (he's virtually on top of them, as he wanders around), he's toned down his performance of "If I Were a Rich Man" to fit the environment, and with only a simple piano accompaniment. (Just like Treva herself once provided.) In many ways, we therefore almost get to see the "softly-singing" that Treva referred to -- for a song that is most known for its boisterousness. (Think of that other, wonderful video the other day here from Ivan Rebroff.) Wonderful too is watching the faces of the young people around him growing growing in admiration and wonderment.
As I said, the video cuts off too early. But what a fascinating performance to have preserved -- in many ways similar to his other, but on its own just a nuanced gem.