Oytsres – Treasures: Klezmer Music 1908-1996

Oytsres CD cover

Oytsres – Treasures:
Klezmer Music 1908-1996
(Schott Wergo SM 1621 2; Mainz, 1999)

Oytsres contains performances by many of the musical personalities described in the book, Klezmer Music, by Joel Rubin and Rita Ottens (Bärenreiter/dtv, 1999), the colorful social history of Yiddish wedding and celebratory music spanning centuries and continents. Among these are the Ukrainian-Jewish violinist M.I. Rabinovitsh, likely the last representative of the lyrical and ornate violin tradition of 19th century Jewish eastern Europe, as well as Naftule Brandwein, Shloimke Beckerman, Dave Tarras and the Max Epstein, the four great American-Jewish clarinetists of the immigrant era in New York. The influence of klezmer music on the Yiddish theater can be heard in Solomon Fayntukh’s symphonic arrangements of traditional klezmer tunes, recorded 1939 in the USSR, and in the melodies of the beloved Yiddish theater composer Alexander Olshanetsky in New York. That the klezmer tradition has organically continued on within both the religious and secular worlds is shown by such varied performances as a field recording of the ultra-orthodox clarinetist Avrom Segal from Israel and the ensemble of the concert clarinetist Joel Rubin from Los Angeles, who is considered by many among the oldest generation of eastern European-influenced American klezmorim as well as the Hasidic musicians of Israel to be the most important interpreter of the klezmer art today.

These rare, mostly historical recordings were digitally remastered by Christian Zwarg and are all issued on CD for the first time and stem from the National Sound Archives (Jerusalem), the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (New York) and Gratz College (Pennsylvania), as well as from the archive of DeutschlandRadio and private European collections.

“Some of the best digital remastering I have ever encountered
(Jewish Quarterly, London)

“Truly successful and phenomenal as an acoustical supplement [to the book Klezmer-Musik]. … In order to approach being able to understand the history of klezmer music, we should dig up the ‘treasures’ of klezmer music over and over again and listen to all of them”
(Neue Zeitschrift für Musik 4/2000)

“[The] old recordings from Eastern Europe cannot be considered to be anything but treasures, singular rarities, and therefore each one precious in and of itself”
(Der kleine Bund, Switzerland)

Track List:

1. Orchestra of the Lemberg Yiddish Theater / Ouverture “Die Drei Matunes” (Khone Wolfsthal) 5:39
2. H. Steiner / Potpourri of Jewish Melodies 5:44
3. Jewish Wedding Orchestra under the direction of Back / Gereist und getroffen (Traveled and Arrived) – Lustige Sachen 2:43
4. Belf’s Romanian Orchestra) / Na Rasv’et’e (At Dawn) 2:41
5. Belf’s Romanian Orchestra) / Platch Yevreia (Cry Jews) 2:52
6. Jacob Gegna / Taxim (Jacob Gegna) 2:43
7. Naftule Brandwein’s Orchestra / Doina and Nachspiel 6:33
8. Shloimke Beckerman, clarinet / Hot Azoi 3:07
9. Cherniavsky’s Yiddishe Jazz Band / Der Dibuk (Joseph Cherniavsky) 3:27
10. Naftule Brandwein’s Orchestra / Odesser Bulgar Dance (Odessa Bulgar Dance) 3:02
11. Naftule Brandwein’s Orchestra / Honga Ciganesta (Roumanian Dance) 3:08
12. Alex Olshantesky’s Orchestra / Yiddishe Hora und Sarba Maracinei (Jewish Dance) (J. Moskowitz) 3:14
13. Abe Schwartz Orchestra / Gelebt und Gelacht – Frehlichs (Lived and Laughed) 3:11
14. Dave Tarras / Duvid, Shpiel Dus Noch Amul (Play it Again)(Dave Tarras) 3:06
15. State Ensemble for Jewish Folk Music and Song of the Ukrainian SSR / Bazetsn di Kale (Seating the Bride) 5:50
16. State Ensemble for Jewish Folk Music of the Ukrainian SSR / Sher, Evreiskii Narodnii Tanets (Jewish Folk Dance) 2:35
17. Dave Tarras Jewish Instrumental Trio / Kiever Sher (D. Tarras) 2:50
18. Hymie Jacobson’s Orchestra featuring Maxie Epstein, clarinet / Yiddish Bulgar 2:44
19. T’khies Ha-Meysim 2:05
20. Joel Rubin Jewish Music Ensemble / Gershfeld’s Bulgarish 4:20