Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A little more bookishness

A couple of months ago Ari Davidow posted about some new books on Jewish music on his KlezmerShack blog. I went back to those posts when I was feeling bookish the other day. Here they are:

Cover Art for Shalom Comrade"The extended booklet text to the CD Shalom Comrade!: Yiddish Music in the Soviet Union 1928-1961 ... by Rita Ottens and [Joel Rubin] is finally available ...[It] includes a lengthier essay in English and Russian, a shorter version of same in German, plus complete song texts in Yiddish and transliterated Yiddish with English translations." You can download the booklet from You can pick up the recording through your favorite music retailer (such as Amazon.)

Book Jacket for 'Leibu Levin, Word and Melody"Leibu Levin. Word and Melody", published by I.L. Peretz Publications. "Leibu Levin (1914–1983), called Yiddish Schubert, the late Czernowitz born Yiddish actor, singer and composer, was a real troubadour of Yiddish literature. Levin's compositions have been sung also by other Yiddish singers, but until now, there was no anthology of his work. The anthology contains 49 songs to poems by 21 Yiddish poets (I. Manger, H. Leivick, H. N. Bialik, M.-L. Halpern, Sh. Halkin and others), photos and drawings. Ruth Levin, the composer's daughter and renowned singer, provides a preface and an epilogue. The volume includes piano arrangements by Hanan Winternitz." The Anthology can be ordered from OR-TAV Music Publications.

Book Jacket for 'Discovering Jewish Music' Discovering Jewish Music is now out in paperback. "Most of us have experienced "Jewish music," whether it's through synagogue attendance, a bar mitzvah celebration, a klezmer concert, or the playing of "Hava Nagila" at a baseball
game. The many different kinds of Jewish music are reflected by the multitude of Jewish communities throughout the world, each having its own unique set of experiences and values. This book puts the music into a context of Jewish history, philosophy, and sociology. Edelman begins 3,000 years ago, with a discussion of music in the Bible, and then examines the nature of folk and liturgical music in the three major Diaspora communities that evolved over centuries, after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. From there she explores music of the 20th century, including the explosion of popular music in North America and Israel and its impact on Jews and their musical identities." This is the first book on Jewish music I read and remains one of my favorites. It's compact, insightful, and available through your favorite bookshop.

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