Songs of Jewish life -
'... calm and delight to perfection ...'
A flawless collection with songs of village (shtetl) life, lyrics of Terezin concentration camp (Czechoslovakia) and defiant choruses of Jewish partisan resistance.
Here are long established favourites -- among them Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen, Sha Shtil, Der Rebe Elimelekh, Tumbalalayka, S'Brent and Shtil di Nakht
[listen -- track 23, 0:00-0:43].
With this release Canadian group Counterpoint displays all the polish, precision, and civility one associates with quality concert hall performances. An instrumental ensemble along to assist with and enhance the programme consists of flute, clarinet, accordion, mandolin, violin, guitar, bass and percussion.
The downside in their approach is the occasional tendency to underplay Jewish joyfulness, plus the devastation and heartbreak caused by 20th century warfare, life in the ghettos, the pogroms, and endangered village life.
Copyright © 18 December 2005
Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand