We cannot know whether Weinberg based his miniature piece for wind orchestra, Ch’ssidisch: In Hassidic Mood, on any specific authentic Hassidic tune or on related fragments. No melodic source has been identified in any compilation of Hassidic tunes. The title is odd as a “dangling” adjective, unless it was intended to be ḥassidus [ḥassidut], i.e., Hassidism. Since the melody cannot be traced to the known repertoires of any Hassidic dynasty or tradition, we must assume that it was Weinberg’s own creation. Nonetheless, he based it on generic contours of typical Hassidic song, evoking its emblematic fervor, ecstasy, and emotional intensity. Like his references to Hassidic song in other original pieces, this one is permeated by idioms associated with 19th-century eastern European wedding bands, the klezmorim. But unlike those other pieces, the melodic features are more related to Hassidic song and dance than to the repertoires of the klezmorim. Also like Weinberg’s Canzonetta and The Maypole, Ch’ssidisch is not listed in his published catalogue and was found only in manuscript in the Simeon Bellison Archives in Jerusalem.
Performers: University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony; Rodney Winther, Conductor
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