Bride's Waltz: New & Old Music for Klezmer Violin
\'KLEZMER MUSIC IN IT'S PUREST FORM\' -- NIW, Dutch Jewish weekly magazine European style Village Klezmer : This CD contains old world melodies never before recorded and a few brand new compositions and well-known klezmer tunes. Village Klezmer music is revitalized in a refreshing way! Music with happiness that is not worked up and sadness that is not schmaltzy. Let the bride dance on the evening before her wedding! As long as she dances she is not yet married... The tunes on this CD are timeless - however antique, well-known, rediscovered, dusted off or newly composed they are. Klezmer music in the Jewish culture in the old Eastern Europe was functional music, mainly for weddings. The klezmorim (musicians) led the wedding couple, the family and the other guests through a rich variety of dance tunes and emotionally charged melodies. First, the guests were escorted to the wedding by the klezmorim, who played Gasn Nigunim (literally 'alley melodies'). Before the actual ceremony the bride had to be brought to tears by predictions of the heavy life awaiting her. After the marriage ceremony there was festive dance music, alternated with slower melodies for listening. All these interpretations, rooted in a rich culture, were intense and pure expressions of human emotions. The klezmer sound produced by large ensembles with many horn players is well-known. But for centuries a different klezmer sound predominated in Eastern Europan Jewish folk music. It was a small-town, small-band sound. Having the violin's melody as it's basis, this group sound is mild, rich and nuanced. Groups and musicians like Budowitz, Di Naye Kapelye, Alicia Svigals and Veretski Pass have brought this older sound back into it's own place in the klezmer spectrum, and now place it on the concert stage. In it's short life Shtetl Band Amsterdam has also become an inspired and much in-demand exponent of this Village Klezmer style. After the founding of Shtetl Band Amsterdam the musicians began an ongoing exploration of the core of the sound and of the playing techniques of klezmer music. They found instruments that match the sound of a village orchestra: a smaller accordion and bass, a bass drum with an attached cymbal (poyk), a horn violin. On The Bride's Waltz you will hear Shtetl Band Amsterdam play well-known tunes as well as old melodies that were never recorded. In addition to that, Gregor Schaefer wrote some brand new compositions. The music on the CD has that distinctive, ages-old village sound that seemed to be lost and for which right now there's a growing audience again. Listen to the nuances and subtleties of a small ensemble that plays buzzing and bouncing klezmer music right from the heart. Musicians, let the bride dance! The musicians on this CD are: Bert Vos violin, horn violin, scordatura violin, founder Instruments a 1690 Jacobs (Amsterdam) violin; a 1930 German horn violin; a Romanian scordatura violin made in 1999. Then: violin studies at Rubin Academy in Israel; International Youth Orchestra directed by Lorin Maazel; masterclasses in New York and Stuttgart; Gertler String Quartet (Tel Aviv); Escher Ensemble. Now: Sexteto Canyengue led by Carel Kraayenhof; leader, Shtetl Band Amsterdam; Bonjour Madame trio; promoting the work of my mother, the writer Ida Vos. "A Yidl mitn Fidl from the shtetl Amsterdam, that's me. Finally I play the music with which I grew up." Roberto Haliffi drumset, poyk Instruments an Amsterdam poyk that I built 2007; a drumset that I bought in 1998. Then: jazz drummer in Italy; later gigged in the Netherlands and abroad with Woody Shaw, Hans Dulfer, Pia Beck, John Marshall, Rosa King, Denise Jannah. Now: lots of jazz, pure klezmer, also crossovers with the Klezmokum ensemble. "As a Sephardic-Jewish boy from Libya I fled to Italy and ended up in Amsterdam, where I am a proud poyk player, playing Eastern European Jewish music. Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!" Iefke Wang violin, viola Instruments: an Italian violin circa 1760; a viola built by Möller in 1925, loaned by the Nationaal Muziekinstrumenten Fonds. Then: violin studies at Messiaen Academie and Scuola di Musica di Fiesole in Italy; touring Colombia and Spain with string quintet Ambrosia; Opera Trionfo, Kraayenhof Tango Ensemble, Grup Yorum; Master Arts and Sciences. Now: all solo cantates by Telemann on baroque violin; RBO Sinfonia; substituting in the Gelders Orkest; teaching violin at Music School Amsterdam. "Using my violin to let people dance, that is what I want. I enjoy my waltz with these four men!" Gregor Schaefer bassetl, artistic direction Instrument a Bohemian bassetl from 1880, currently in restoration; for the CD recordings a German bassetl made in 1970. Then: in the 1990s jazz and balkan music; recorded Transylvanian music in Sun Studios (Memphis) with the group Csókolom; played a concert for 2000 hippies in Australia; played in Tuzla (Bosnië) on a field while the neighbours were hanging out of the windows singing the songs with us. Now: klezmer, composing, Sephardic music, ud, and also back to jazz."In this group many things that I enjoy come together: Jewish and Eastern European bowing techniques, strong rhythms and melodies, interaction within a small ensemble." Michiel Ockeloen accordion Instrument a Scandalli Super VI accordion from the good old days, lent by Bart Lelivelt for the CD recordings. Then: many music theatre performances and lots of bands; played festivals in Zürich, Linz en Cleveland with theatre group Huis aan de Amstel; my formal studies were classical, world music became my passion. Now: klezmer, tango, chorinho and many other happy sounds from various regions of our planet; I also teach and give workshops. "I am grateful for all good things that come my way: music, playing together with fine people, the great richness of experiences that life offers."