History Of Jiddisch Music
Press review - Jewish Telegraph
The most in-depth look at Jewish music, Bear Family Records deserve the gratitude of Jews all over the world.
This is the most exhaustive collection of Jewish music from Nazi Berlin ever recorded. The Nazis had tried to wipe out every trace of Jewish life, but this historical document proves their failure.
Jewish Telegraph (Mike Cohen)
An ultimate Artifact.
Village Voice, New York 28.5.2002 (J. Hoberman)
Beyond recall ...
With Hitler's so-called 'seizure of power' in 1933, anti-Semitism became a state doctrine. The National Socialists' aim was to drive the Jews out of the country and - when this attempt failed - to exterminate them physically. Any reminder of the history of the Jews in Germany, even the sounds and voices of Jewish artists, was to be consigned to oblivion. On being liberated from Theresienstadt concentration camp, Rabbi Leo Baeck from Berlin stated his conviction that the 1,000 year history of the Jews in Germany had come to an irrevocable end.
This documentary record is a witness to the victory of life over death. Priceless sound documents 'survived' the Holocaust, and it has proved possible to track down many recordings and painstakingly restore them. Now - after 70 years - they are being made available once more.
In word and sound this study documents the incredible story of how members of the Jewish Kulturbund [Cultural League] in Berlin continued to perform and create while under constant surveillance and control by the Gestapo; how they made recordings, and how these were produced and sold. Some of the titles recorded in Berlin were released in Palestine in the mid-1930s and, as such, represent the birth of the record industry in Israel. These recordings are scattered throughout the world and for the most part now exist only as single copies or test pressings - unique collectors' items. The repertoire is wide, covering classical music, Yiddish comedians, German-Jewish cabaret artists and singers, Zionist songs and - above all - cantorial recordings of unequalled expressive power.
The chapter on 'The Jewish Kulturbund and the Political Environment' provides a general history of how the Jews in Germany lived during the period between the Weimar Republic and the end of the Second World War and the sufferings they endured. It shows how, under a system of constantly intensifying reprisals, the Jews were gradually excluded from German society, and depicts the background to and circumstances surrounding the setting up of the Jewish Kulturbund. Nevertheless, even under these inhuman conditions, members of the Jewish Kulturbund still succeeded in making recordings, and Jewish record companies in Berlin still managed to keep going right up until 1938.
Semer, Achva, Bema and Lukraphon labels
The centrepiece of this documentary record is the reconstruction of the record catalogues and company histories of the Semer, Achva, Bema and Lukraphon labels. The recordings are systematically presented and discussed in catalogue number order, i.e. in the chronological order of their release dates. Particular care has been spent in researching the biographies of the performers, musicians, composers and lyricists involved in these recordings. Consequently, this study also serves as a biographcial dictionary.
All the titles known of at the present time and that could be accessed are presented on the CDs in this boxed set edition. The edition contains eleven CDs with a total playing time of over 14 hours of music, and also a DVD with a reconstruction of the sound film Hebräische Melodie [Hebrew Melody]. This film, featuring the violinist Andreas Weißgerber, was believed lost, but is now presented here for the first time.
Horst J. P. Bergmeier, Apeldoorn - Ejal Jakob Eisler, Haifa - Rainer E. Lotz, Bonn
Jiddische Musik in Deutschland und ihre Einflüsse
Jiddish Music / Klezmer, a synonym for vitality and diversity.
This new series 'Sol Sain - Jiddische Musik in Deutschland und ihre Einflüsse' collection is unparalleled in many ways. The 12-CD anthology presents more than 240 recordings and is telling the whole story of post-war Jiddish music / Klezmer. In the 1960s, Jiddish songs were discovered by the folk music movement. Later, the American Klezmer revival had a strong impact on the music, and today's colourful Klezmer music scene has become an essential part of contemporary world music. This anthology also contains previously unreleased live recordings by popular US American bands, made in Germany (The Klezmorim, Kapelye, Andy Statman Orchestra, Brave Old World). Read more at: https://www.bear-family.com/various-vol.1-jiddische-musik-1953-2009.html
History of Jiddische songs
This anthology explores the recent history of Jiddische songs. The journey starts with the folk movement in the early 60s, looks at the Klezmer revival in the US and its influence on German musicians, and finally portraits contemporary Jiddische Musik as part of the large World Music scene. Highly recommended!