" Klezmer is an interpretation of art and life based not solely on Jewish folklore, but rather on a cosmopolitan divergence of musical genres" Giora Feidman 

     
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The Clarinet Klezmer Players

 

Why is the clarinet the instrument of Klezmer

clarinet keywork

A characteristic of the Klezmer is its comprehensiveness. No other music has attuned into its repertoire the influences of the surroundings music tradition and at the same time keeping its essence, its own identity, the delicate blend of Eastern European dance tunes, liturgical melodies, hassidic niggunim, folk songs, played according to the traditional Klezmer modes.

The emergence of the clarinet in the Klezmer band was a blessing, a necessity and a logical evolution. No other music instrument can ooze out an almost vocal lament, smirking, laughing, sobbing, distilling the essence of Jewish-Yiddish music, providing universal music.

In Eastern Europe there were a lot off restrictions imposed on Jewish musicians. Loud instruments like clarinet and brass were prohibited. Gradually Jewish musicians were enroled in the army and admitted in military bands where they could show their skills. After their terms they came back to the Klezmer bands with their horns. In the second half of the 19th century, the clarinet set a foot in the Klezmer orchestra and since then never left it. The clarinet is to the Klezmer what the guitar is to the Flamenco or the sitar to the Indian music.

We already said that Klezmer is all about interpretation, the written music although important is not the essential. The talent, the imagination, the persuasion power of the performer is quite capital.

Each one is unique, each one learned from the masters of the past and bequeathed their musical knowledge to the next generation to keep the tradition well and alive. This is why it is important to know those players, their life, their journey, their achievements and their contribution to the Klezmer art. Giora Feidman, Dave Tarras, Naftule Brandwein, Helmut Eisel, German Goldenshteyn, David Krakauer are the first you will find in the next pages, many others will follow, world renowned or less famous. Klezmer is not a question of celebrity but rather a question of sincerity and trueness.

Giora Feidman Naftule Brandwein Dave Tarras Helmut Eisel German Goldenshteyn
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Giora Feidman
"We have one Torah, one shofar, one flag, and the expression of all that is the nigun, any nigun. It's not a song, it's an energy which results from an interpretation of the faith."

 

 

 

"Long live Giora, his clarinet and his music! He builds bridges between generations, cultures and classes, and he does it with perfect artistry!" Leonard Bernstein