Dienstag, 9. November 2021

VA - Klezmer: Early Yiddish Instrumental Music 1908-1927

Today we remember the anti-Jewish pogrom in Nazi Germany and Austria on 9 to 10 November1938, also known as "Novemberpogrome", "Reichskristallnacht", "Reichspogromnacht" or "Pogromnacht" in German.

Arhoolie and its affiliated labels have reissued this material, largely taken from the collection of the collector Dr. Martin Schwartz, several times over the years (first as a 16-track LP, then later as a 24-track CD), but the 1997 CD has the most informative notes and the best sound. (For songs painstakingly transferred from fragile 78 RPM records, many of them clearly damaged, this is an important consideration.) 

This music is of vital historical importance, being the first known recordings of klezmer, the instrumental music of Eastern European Jews, but it's at least as musically impressive as it is historically valuable. The earliest tracks, recorded in Europe in the first decade of the 20th century, owe much to gypsy music and Eastern European folk forms, but as the record (which is not in strict chronological order) progresses, klezmer's own sound, heavy on the minor-key melodies and speedy tempos, becomes more obvious.

Interestingly, the latest recordings, made in New York in the '20s, have introduced distinctive clarinet solos that don't sound that far removed from the classic early jazz records being made at the same time and place. Dr. Schwartz's informative notes are excellent for placing this music into its proper historical, social, and musical context.

  1. Doina and Hora (Hebrew dance), Jacob Hoffman - xylophone; with Kandel's Orchestra, New York, 1923 3:04
  2. Sirba, Orchestra Orfeon, Istanbul, Turkey, 1912 3:33
  3. Mechutonim Tantz, Jewish Orchestra (Abe Schwartz' Orchestra), New York, 1918 3:17
  4. Kallarash, Naftule Brandwein - clarinet solo; & his Orchestra, New York, 1922 3:12
  5. Yiddish Chusedel, Max Leibowitz - violin solo, Philip Friedman - piano, New York 1916 3:31
  6. Kleftico Vlachiko, Orchestra Goldberg (w. cornet solo), Istanbul, 1908 3:20
  7. Fihren die Mechutonim (tanz), N. Brandwein (Naftule Brandwein & Abe Schwartz's Orchestra), New York 1923 3:34
  8. Koilen (dance), Mishka Ziganoff (accordion solo), New York, 1919 3:28
  9. Ch'sidishe Nigunim (H. Gross & B. Katz) (Part 1), Boibriker Kapelle (H. Gross - leader; Dave Tarras - clarinet; Beresh Katz & Abe Schwartz - violins, etc. - trombone or tuba), New York, 1927 2:55
  10. Haneros Haluli, H. Steiner - violin with unkown cymbalom, Poland 1909 2:49
  11. Sadigurer-Chusid, (Moskowitz) Joseph Moskowitz - cymbalom; Max Yussim - piano, New York, 1916 3:10
  12. Doina (pt 1), S. Kosch - flute solo w/cymbalom acc., Lemberg, Poland, ca. 1911 3:15
  13. Doina (pt 2), S. Kosch - flute solo w/cymbalom acc., Lemberg, Poland, ca. 1911 2:42
  14. Turkische Yalle Vey Uve, Orchestra Orfeon, Istanbul, Turkey, 1912 3:17
  15. Sadegurer Chused'l, Abe Schwartz' Orchestra, New York, 1917 2:57
  16. Biem Reben's Sideh, Yiddisher Orkester (Abe Schwartz' Orchestra), New York, 1917 3:32
  17. Oi Tate, S'is Gut, Naftule Brandwein's Orchestra, New York 1925 3:11
  18. Schweir und Schwiger Tanz, Abe Schwartz' Orchestra, New York, 1920 3:10
  19. Rumänische Fantasien (Pt 1), Joseph Solinski - violin solo, with cymbalom acc., Poland, ca. 1911 2:40
  20. Khosidl, Belf's Rumanian Orchestra, probably Russia, ca. 1912 2:38
  21. Der Shtiller Bulgar, Jewish Orchestra (Abe Schwartz Orchestra), New York, 1918 3:03
  22. A Mitzve Tenzel (Tabak), Hochman's Orchestra, Nnew York, 1921 3:01
  23. National Hora (Part II), Abe Schwartz - violin; with Sylvia Schwartz - piano, New York, 1920 3:25
  24. Sher (Morris Fried) (Part II), Abe Schwartz Orchestra (Abe Schwartz - violin), New York, 1920 3:06

(320 kbps, cover art included)

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