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Cat. No. CHAN 10181 Price: £5 No. of discs: 1
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CHAN 10181 - Klezmer: Jewish Music
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Available From: 08 March 2004
Klezmer was born out of a Yiddish culture that has today almost disappeared. The word ‘Klezmer’ is a contraction of the Hebrew words kely (instrument) and zemer (melody).

The earliest evidence that Jewish instrumental groups existed in Central Europe dates from the fifteenth century. Thereafter, fleeing the Spanish inquisition and persecution, Jewish communities gradually moved eastwards to Poland, Ukraine and Constantinople, Odessa, Rivne, Kiev and Vilnius. The product of an oral tradition, the music has undergone innumerable transformations over time.

A great many rich influences – the music of the synagogue, Hasidic and gypsy music, central European and Greco-Turkish dances, local folk music – have been distilled down the centuries to create the many-faceted music we hear today; it thus embodies an important part of the legacy of centuries of European and middle-Eastern music. Many truly great musicians – principally violinists – issued from the huge well of talent kept secret for centuries, with musicians Jascha Heifetz and David Oistrakh demonstrating a flamboyant and rewarding fusion of classical and Klezmer violin techniques.

The popularity of Klezmer declined during the first half of the twentieth century, for many Jews emigrated to the New World during this time and were keen to integrate with their new surroundings. Its return to favour in the 1970s owes much to the passion of young American musicians who undertook to research, archive and refresh the old repertoire, and to the success of recordings by successful artists such as Itzhak Perlman with Klezmer ensembles. In the past 30 years there has been an unprecedented surge in the music’s popularity throughout the world.
Reviews

Kleztory is made up of five musicians who have a typical Klezmer combination of clarinet, guitar, violin, double-bass and accordion. They play these premiere recordings which such verve that my feet havent stopped tapping.
Classic FM Magazine

 

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