Synopses & Reviews
ýKlezemr has become one of the primary languages of the musical avant-garde.O (The New Yorker)
ýThe music of my childhood memories came flooding back through the decades as I read. Maybe, as Seth Rogovoy suggests, itís time for our music to awaken once more to an entirely new generation.O (Arlo Guthrie)
THE ESSENTIAL KLEZMER is the definitive guide to an ancient music made new again, mesmerizing dance music that I simultaneously reverential, mischievous, ecstatic, and tragic. Itís Old World and New World, secular and sacred, traditional and experimental.
With the love of a fan and the acuity of a critic, Seth Rogovoy leads the reader through the past, present, and future of klezmer: its survival despite the splintering of the Jewish world of Eastern Europe; its popularity in America during the early decades of the twentieth century before being driven underground by the pressures of assimilation; its rediscovery in the 1970ís y a new wave of Jewish musicians raised on jazz, rock and roll, and American folk; and its influence on some of the hottest musicians playing today, including John Zorn, David Krakauer, and Ben Folds Five.
Youíll find a comprehensive discography of old and new klezmer, a thoughtful guide to building your own klezmer library, and a tour of klezmer on the Internet.
ýAn informative and entertaining guide to the most unlikely musical trend of recent years. Rogovoy lucidly explains whatís culturally significant about klezmer; better yet, he captures the musicís fun.O (Francis Davis, author of Bebop and Nothingness and The History of the Blues)
This definitive guide to an explosive cross-cultural, cross-generational phenomenon documents the history of klezmer from its roots in Eastern Europe to its current revival in Europe and America. Includes detailed information about its social, cultural, and political influences, the instruments, and the players, past and present.
A comprehensive discography presents the "Essential Klezmer Library; " extensive lists of recordings, artists, and styles; and an up-to-the-minute resource of music retailers, festivals, workshops, and klezmer Web sites.
You can hear it in the hottest clubs in New York, the hippest rooms in New Orleans, Chicago, and San Francisco, and in top concert halls around the world. It's a joyous sound that echoes the past. It's Old World meets New World. It's secular and sacred. It's traditional and experimental. It's played by classical violinist Itzhak Perlman (his all-klezmer album in his all-time best-seller!), the hypno-pop band Yo La Tengo, and avant-gardist John Zorn. It made the late great Benny Goodman's clarinet wail. It's klezmer and it's hot!
The Essential Klezmer is the definitive introduction to a musical form in the midst of a renaissance. It documents the history of klezmer from its roots in the Jewish communities of medieval Eastern Europe to its current revival in Europe and America. It includes detailed information about the music's social, cultural, and political roots as well as vivid descriptions of the instruments, their unique sounds, and the players who've kept those sounds alive through the ages. Music journalist Seth Rogovoy skillfully conveys the emotional intensity and uplifting power of klezmer and the reasons for its ever widening popularity among Jews and Gentiles, Hasidim and club kids, grandparents and their grandkids.
A comprehensive discography presents the "Essential Klezmer Library," extensive lists of recordings, artists, and styles, as well as an up-to-the-minute resource of music retailers, festivals, workshops, and klezmer Web sites.
The Essential Klezmer is as entertaining as it is enlightening.
Includes discography (p. -246), filmography (p. 257-260), bibliographical references (p. -266), and index.
About the Author
Seth Rogovoy is a pop-music critic and historian. He lives in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he hosts an all-klezmer radio program called Rockin' the Shtetl.