Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Itzhak Perlman Plays Klezmer

This is a clip from the 1995 documentary, In The Fiddler's House, which captures Itzhak Perelman, one of the greatest classical violinists, trying his hand at klezmer music. The documentary takes us on a journey, from New York City to one of the roots of the musical form to Crakow, Poland, and the Jewish Quarter.

The documentary showcases the talents of klezmer groups like Brave Old World, Kapelye, The Klezmatics, and The Klezmer Conservatory Band. And there is Itzhak Perlman, who quickly (understandably) masters the form.

You can view Part 2 here, and hear Perlman play some klezmer with Brave Old World and have lunch at a New York deli with Red Buttons (Aaron Chwatt) and Fyvush Finkel (Philip Finkel), two well-known actors and performers.

In Part 3, Perlman plays with the Klezmer Conservatory Band. When asked what he feels when he plays klezmer, Perlman said: "Natural." In Part 4, the clip shows Itzhak Perlman's daughter's wedding ceremony, and Perlman, who contacted polio at age four, walking his daughter to the chupah. It's a touching sight. As always, the music is there, playing.