27 November 2007

Dancing Dreydls

Hanukkah doesn't start until sundown Dec. 4, but after yesterday's Nutcracker posting, I just couldn't get this out of my head. So you get it a little early.Shirim - Klezmer Nutcracker

Based on the same Tchaikovsky piece as the big-band-jazz song posted yesterday, this takes the original in a very different and delightful direction. Arranger Michael McLaughlin squeezes all manner of klezmer stuff into this, from pinched clarinet to swinging brass and that characteristic Middle-Eastern beat. I don't really have an explanation for the banjo...is that somehow more common in klezmer than I've been led to believe?

Anyway, enjoy this piece. Listen to it next to yesterday's Ellington. Compare and contrast. I'll expect a brief, pithy essay by the end of the day tomorrow (or at least your thoughtful comments).

[mp3] Shirim: Dance of the Dreydls
from Klezmer Nutcracker - also available at CDbaby

Like the Ellington disc, Shirim adds some other tunes after the seven Nutcracker adaptations, in this case similar klezmerifications of Mahler, Satie, Brahms, Chopin, and other tunes. All good, but the Nutcracker part is still my favorite. I think someplace there's a CD of a live performance of this complete with narration.

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