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Thread: Do You Like Klezmer?

  1. #1
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    Do You Like Klezmer?

    I do.
    And here's the thread to look at it.



    Why I like it is the 'eery' shape of the tunes - much use of the harmonic scale - and also the spirit shown, which varies from tragic feeling to pzazz.
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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Ella Beck! I've got some klutzy klezmer comments, even if I've never seen a three-piece klezmer band.
    You can really hear the historic cultural creation of public music, what also became polka music.
    And when I say "cultural", that's Middle East music. They use a violin here when it used to be a zither.

    This is a very modern klezmer variation, what, new age klezmer, post-nu jazz klezmer, it's hard to tell.

    While I can understand you saying "the eery shape of the tunes", I don't see it that way.
    This style of band isn't reading sheet music or playing a piece from memory, just jamming away.
    That's my biggest disappointment with symphonies and classical music, no outward rhythm.
    I could be played bass here, but I'd be adding some funk timings, making it contemporary for me.
    What? I didn't hear any glasses shattering at the end?

    MUSICAL WARNING! Serious klezmer video accompaniment. 5:35, slow until 2:15.


    Last edited by John Watt; Mar-17-2019 at 06:57.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    It's too easy to comment on global videos, especially when none of them are local for me.
    What was my first klezmer, uh, experience?
    When I was in high school there was a synagogue here that closed in the nineties.
    I'd be visiting friends and could see Michael David, a fellow student, coming and going.
    At school he kept to himself and left after school, working in his fathers' mens' clothing store.
    One day he came up to me and said did I really go and see Jimi Hendrix in Toronto?
    When I said yes he said he had a set of drums and asked if I could come over to jam with him.
    My friend, the bass player I went to Toronto to see Jimi Hendrix with, said he would jam,
    and that was good, because his father drove him, picking me up, taking us and our equipment back and forth.
    Michaels' parents wanted to meet me first before I came into their house,
    and sitting with them, asking about the music they grew up with, was when I first heard klezmer.

    We ended up having a few more jams before school was out, only because it was difficult to get together.
    What meant a lot to me was Michaels' father hiring my fiancee as part-time sales help for the summer.
    She was Metis from Quebec and could sing. We all should have started a band.

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    Gorgeous eery 'primeval' wodge of Hungarian Klezmer.

    Carrying a torch for Classical Music...

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    This video isn't just about musicians playing klezmer. It's an Itzhak Perlman video, a classical violin virtuoso.
    As soon as I saw his name I thought this could be the best, but in a way it isn't.
    Itzhak is acting like he's never played klezmer before, and about half way through he says it's his childhood music.
    AUDIO WARNING! Itzhak also says, when his volume isn't cutting through, "I'll put my cheap Strad away".
    And watching him start to jam, it turns out he's more of a twiddler than I thought.
    Hearing him starting out trying to jam along reminded me of trying to jam with my bassoonist girlfriend.
    I could keep playing and so could she, but for me it wasn't going anywhere, feeling like a back-up.

    But overall, this video offers insight into musicians getting together as klezmer players,
    breaking in a symphony violinist with exceptional ability.
    Just the look on Itzhaks' face as he hits it with the violin lent to him by another musician is worth it.



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    Another fascinating video about Hungarian Klezmer music.

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    Here in the UK, Klezmer is becoming popular among young violin-learners and older fiddlers like me, largely due to Ilana Cravitz's book, Klezmer Fiddle - a How-To Guide.

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    I spent over a year learning to play Klezmer from Ilana Cravitz's book, with my fiddle teacher, who'd been on one of her courses. I can testify that its use of varying rhythms, accidentals, chromatics, & the harmonic scale, plus its philosophical links to weddings and the varying human emotions therein, make it completely unlike any other session music.

    Klezmer is unique, lovely, eery, plangent music - often joyful, and often melancholy.
    Like life itself.
    Last edited by Ella Beck; Mar-18-2019 at 12:41.
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    Ilana is one of the tutors on the FolkWorks Summer School in Newcastle this year
    https://sagegateshead.com/whats-on/a...mer-school-18/
    - we really wanted to go, but couldn't because they'd announced the details too late for us to find self-catering accommodation - we can't stay in hall because I have sleeping problems.

    Ilana Cravitz also holds many Klezmer events and workshops for any reader in the UK who's interested - particularly any reader who plays the violin.

    I can vouch for Klezmer being very exhilarating music to learn and play, even though my first love is folk music, particularly Scottiish fiddle music.

    Here is Ilana's website:
    https://www.ilanacravitz.com/
    Last edited by Ella Beck; Mar-18-2019 at 12:43.
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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Ella Beck! You used the word "plangent" to describe a music, and you are a wordist.
    I can think of "plantangenent", but isn't that about English royalty, maybe Henry the 8th?
    Any comment would be appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Watt View Post
    Ella Beck! You used the word "plangent" to describe a music, and you are a wordist.
    I can think of "plantangenent", but isn't that about English royalty, maybe Henry the 8th?
    Any comment would be appreciated.
    https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plangent - Meaning 2.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ella Beck View Post
    Another fascinating video about Hungarian Klezmer music.

    And here's the third in the series - not played entirely in tune, alas, though it's interesting to hear such ancient music on an electric fiddle, which has a nice tone.
    Lovely tune, however.

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    Vice Admiral Virtuoso John Watt's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, especially to Merriam-Webster, created in Scotland.
    I can spell it and understand the meanings, but as word it's not making sense for me,
    obviously a word I probably will never use.
    I'm thinking there's plangent and pungent comes next.

    That last video was just solo violin. It takes more musicians than that to klezmerize me.

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    An interesting version of Khosidl (more minor-key than the one I play) and I think this ?student band make a lovely sound - clarinet, maybe? Wish there was a close-up of the band.
    I can understand that the music makes the wish to dance irresistible.

    Carrying a torch for Classical Music...

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