Saturday, June 23, 2012

Efim Alexandrov: A Yiddish Performance In Russia


Efim Alexandrov dedicates a one-hour show to Yiddish music, performing in front of a Russian audience, where between songs he explains the historical significance to the Jewish community of Yiddish music and language. It's a well-performed musical tribute.

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In 2001 under the auspices of the Yuri Bashmet Fund the large cultural musical project "The Best Songs of the Jewish Shtetle" was launched, and Efim Alexandrov became its soloist and director. As its website says:
Mums sang these songs to their babies, and those gave births to their children who in the evenings, leaning over their kids, sang these songs to them again. So the wheel of time made turns, surrendering itself to a rhythm of Yiddish language, to the melodies, which became eternal, having extended all over the world—the Old and the New one — and having united hearts of people, irrespective of their nationality.
Despite the fact of being major such a song is always written in a minor —like many Afro-American blues songs where white hides black and laughter means negation of sorrow. Therefore songs of the Jewish shtetle are quite similar - courage of mother just like courage of people always touches your heart and causes respect.
These songs could become history and having fallen asleep die in vinyl, in records of performers of the last century who were last collectors of these melodies because music constantly develops - technologies of records change, there are new carriers and quality of sound comes nearer to that divine line where the listener or the performer is not important anymore and in the end only harmony remains.

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