Bob Berkman | Klezmerola

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Album Links
Klezmerola Website Pianola Enterprises Website

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United States - United States

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World: Klezmer Folk: Traditional Folk Moods: Featuring Piano
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Klezmerola

by Bob Berkman

The delightful rediscovery of Jewish music on piano rolls, including rarities by George Gershwin, Abe Schwartz, and the obscure Samuel A. Perlstein, shedding new light on 1920s klezmer in America in wonderful interpretations by pianolist Bob Berkman.
Genre: World: Klezmer
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Odesser Bulgar
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3:14 album only
2. Yosel
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3:20 album only
3. Kreplach Ind Warenikis Frailachs
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1:47 album only
4. A Gitte Nacht Der Kolli Ind Dem Chusen
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4:33 album only
5. Die Griene Cosina
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2:18 album only
6. Chupeh Tanz
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2:48 album only
7. Lebedig In Freilach
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3:34 album only
8. Gott In Sein Mishpot Is Gerecht
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2:59 album only
9. Bulgarish
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3:21 album only
10. Der Sadeguerer Chusidl
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2:03 album only
11. Hatikvoh
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1:35 album only
12. A Tenzel Far Die Machetunem
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2:16 album only
13. Yidelach-Briderlach
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3:01 album only
14. Romanian Volach
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2:52 album only
15. Hebrew Medley (Hebrew Wedding March; Mazel Tov)
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1:51 album only
16. Simchas Torah Chusid
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2:27 album only
17. Havah Nagilah
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3:00 album only
18. Von Der Chuppe And Polka
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2:47 album only
19. Schlugt Kapures Chusidel
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2:10 album only
20. Hebrew Rhapsodie No. 1
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7:14 album only
21. Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen
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2:08 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Before the release of the CD "Klezmerola," the existence of 1920-era klezmer music on piano rolls was virtually unknown. Even klezmer scholars were barely aware of it. A historical footnote could be found here or there, but there were no accessible examples to be heard. Klezmerola revealed to modern listeners the long-forgotten world of Jewish music for player piano, and it includes some marvels. Chief among them are George Gershwin's rendition of "Gott In Sein Mishpot Is Gerecht," released at the very beginning of his career and his only known recording of a Jewish song; and the haunting "A Gitte Nacht der Kolli ind dem Chusen" by the obscure Samuel A. Perstein, a Russian immigrant who soon left his job at a New York piano roll factory to conquer Hollywood, getting as far as composing music for the silent version of "All Quiet On The Western Front." Both familiar and unknown freilachs, bulgars, and chusidls can be heard here, as well as a few favorites of the Yiddish stage and even Havah Nagilah, included to represent the renowned African-American roll artist J. Lawrence Cook. The CD was a labor of love for Bob Berkman, whose collection of Jewish rolls is unparalleled as is his ability to "interpret" them. Contrary to popular belief, typical piano rolls do not "play themselves." They provide only the note information and it is up to the person operating the player piano, known as a "pianolist," to create an appropriate interpretation using hand and foot controls. Berkman's unusual artistry vanquishes the widely-held idea of player piano music as cold and mechanical. Here it can be exciting one moment, poignant the next. And what is a Klezmerola, exactly? It's a made-up word combining "klezmer" and "pianola," signifying a pianola (i.e., player piano) that plays klezmer music. Extensive liner notes complete this most unique and appealing foray into historical klezmer.


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