This is s superb account of Jewish music that not many people have ever heard of. It is Jewish art music either for clarinet and piano or arranged for them. Some pieces are arrangements of folk songs, but some are not – many compositions here are true art music and will be a revelation to many listeners. I can't recommend it enough.Daniel Pincus @ Amazon.com
The fifth volume in Delos' series of recordings dedicated to the songs of Shostakovich masterminded by series pianist Yury Serov is as absolutely essential for anyone who loves the music of Shostakovich. On this disc, Serov has programmed two of the composers' greatest song cycles: From Jewish Folk Poetry and Suite to Words by Michelangelo Buonarroti. For vocalists, Serov has wisely chosen to retain bass Fyodor Kuznetsov from the previous issues for the Michelangelo songs, but daringly recruited a new trio of singers for the Jewish songs……….Anyone who loves the music of Shostakovich will love this disc, just like he/she would love the four previous discs in this series.James Leonard @ AllMusic.com
It would have been groundbreaking enough for the Israeli Ofra Haza to have performed an album of Yemeni Jewish songs. But when she and producer Bezalel Aloni added synthesizers, drum machines, and a generous helping of dance beats, they ended up creating one of the seminal records of world music–one of the very first ethno-techno releases whose reverberations extended into dance clubs around the globe, most especially with "Galbi." While its contemporary sound might make it seem shallow, there really is a lot of depth here, the lyrics coming from the poetry of 16th-century rabbi Shalom Shabazi. Along with fellow spirits like Dissidenten, Haza helped pave the way for Transglobal Underground, Natacha Atlas, and Banco de Gaia.
Dora Juarez is a brilliant young vocalist whose first CD on Tzadik with the trio Muna Zul was released to great acclaim in 2003. Here she steps out on her own to create a fascinating musical journey exploring her own Jewish identity. Tracing her lineage from her parent’s roots in Eastern Europe and Spain, on to Argentina, Israel (where Dora was born) and finally to Mexico where she was raised and still lives, this is an intensely personal and passionate Jewish story told through traditional Sephardic songs in Ladino and Yiddish.
The summer of 1948 was spent by the Shostakoviches in Komarovo, a recreational area in the suburbs of Leningrad. In the bookstore in the train station, where Shostakovich had dropped in to buy something to read on the trip, he saw a collection of poems entitled "Jewish Folk Songs". The composer's interest in Jewish art was long-standing. He was familiar with Jewish folklore through a friend of his youth, S.Gershov, a pupil of Marc Chagall. Some modal attributes of Jewish folk melodies appeared in the composer's various compositions to convey sorrow and suffering.