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The Book of Klezmer: The History, the Music, the Folklore

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Klezmer is Yiddish music, the music of the Jews of Europe and America, a music of laughter and tears, of weddings and festivals, of dancing and prayer. Born in the Middle Ages, it came of age in the shtetl (the Eastern European Jewish country town), where "a wedding without klezmer is worse than a funeral without tears." Most of the European klezmorim (klezmer players) wer Klezmer is Yiddish music, the music of the Jews of Europe and America, a music of laughter and tears, of weddings and festivals, of dancing and prayer. Born in the Middle Ages, it came of age in the shtetl (the Eastern European Jewish country town), where "a wedding without klezmer is worse than a funeral without tears." Most of the European klezmorim (klezmer players) were murdered in the Holocaust; in the last 25 years, however, klezmer has been reborn, with dozens of groups, often mixing klezmer with jazz or rock, gaining large followings throughout the world. The Book of Klezmer traces the music’s entire history, making use of extensive documentary material; interviews with forgotten klezmorim as well as luminaries such as Theodore Bikel, Leonard Nimoy, Joel Grey, Andy Statman, and John Zorn; and dozens of illuminating, stirring, and previously unpublished photographs.


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Klezmer is Yiddish music, the music of the Jews of Europe and America, a music of laughter and tears, of weddings and festivals, of dancing and prayer. Born in the Middle Ages, it came of age in the shtetl (the Eastern European Jewish country town), where "a wedding without klezmer is worse than a funeral without tears." Most of the European klezmorim (klezmer players) wer Klezmer is Yiddish music, the music of the Jews of Europe and America, a music of laughter and tears, of weddings and festivals, of dancing and prayer. Born in the Middle Ages, it came of age in the shtetl (the Eastern European Jewish country town), where "a wedding without klezmer is worse than a funeral without tears." Most of the European klezmorim (klezmer players) were murdered in the Holocaust; in the last 25 years, however, klezmer has been reborn, with dozens of groups, often mixing klezmer with jazz or rock, gaining large followings throughout the world. The Book of Klezmer traces the music’s entire history, making use of extensive documentary material; interviews with forgotten klezmorim as well as luminaries such as Theodore Bikel, Leonard Nimoy, Joel Grey, Andy Statman, and John Zorn; and dozens of illuminating, stirring, and previously unpublished photographs.

40 review for The Book of Klezmer: The History, the Music, the Folklore

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mo

    Some years ago, one of my favorite relatives introduced me to Yale Strom's A Wandering Feast. This book is less travelogue and more history (sadly, no recipes in this one), but both read like novels. The way Strom tells it, the survival of klezmer music over seven centuries is fascinating and full of plot twists. I love his use of individual portraits, enlivened with everything from his interviews with Leonard Nimoy to photos of Jewish and Romani musicians dating back to the early 20th century. Some years ago, one of my favorite relatives introduced me to Yale Strom's A Wandering Feast. This book is less travelogue and more history (sadly, no recipes in this one), but both read like novels. The way Strom tells it, the survival of klezmer music over seven centuries is fascinating and full of plot twists. I love his use of individual portraits, enlivened with everything from his interviews with Leonard Nimoy to photos of Jewish and Romani musicians dating back to the early 20th century.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Dana Woodaman

    This indeed is an amazing book on just about all counts. The amount of research is tremendous the detail is fabulous and the writing and commentary, especially about modern Klezmer here in the US and in Israel is top notch. I leaned SO MUCH from this book. If you are interested in Klezmer, you just can't afford to miss this. This indeed is an amazing book on just about all counts. The amount of research is tremendous the detail is fabulous and the writing and commentary, especially about modern Klezmer here in the US and in Israel is top notch. I leaned SO MUCH from this book. If you are interested in Klezmer, you just can't afford to miss this.

  3. 4 out of 5

    BookOfLife

    Hear an interview with Yale Strom on The Book of Life podcast's August 2007 episode at www.jewishbooks.blogspot.com. Hear an interview with Yale Strom on The Book of Life podcast's August 2007 episode at www.jewishbooks.blogspot.com.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joe Molenaar

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    Noor Shames

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    Jeff

  10. 5 out of 5

    Laura Kegeles

  11. 4 out of 5

    Bruce Triggs

  12. 4 out of 5

    Willem Villerius

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gilbert

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    Lisa

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    Jeffrey A. Raff

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    Thomas Stickler

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    Françoise Nussbaumer

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    Drpants

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    James Bolger

  34. 5 out of 5

    BookDB

  35. 4 out of 5

    Alex Nu

  36. 4 out of 5

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  37. 4 out of 5

    Terri

  38. 4 out of 5

    Aidan Levyne

  39. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  40. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Hollander

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