Yosl klezmer 02:13

Liner Notes

Yosl klezmer (1939) derives its melodic archetype and style from folk tunes and dances of traditional eastern European wedding-band musicians (klezmorim), although the actual melody is Weiner’s own. The robust energy of this song, with its elaborate piano part and its expressive contrasting middle section, transforms the folk-derived character into a more complex artistic statement.

Editor's note by Neil W. Levin:

The poem contains an intermediate stanza that Weiner chose not to include in his setting.

By: Yehudi Wyner



Poet: Naftoli Gross (1896–1956)

When Yosl the klezmer plays at a celebration,
The crowd dances like waves in the sea.
They revel, they drink, and they sing:
Hey, tay-di-ri, tay-di-ri, dam.

He dances with his fiddle in the circle;
He accompanies the jester with his rhymes:
When Yosl the klezmer plays his fiddle—
The folks dance like waves in the sea.

After a hundred and twenty years, when
Yosl’s hour will also come,
Before God’s throne
He will stand humble and alone.

But when the folks will catch sight of him there:
Hey, tay-di-ri, tay-di-ri, dam.
There he is “Yosl the klezmer!”
And they’ll dance like the waves in the sea.

Poet: Naftoli Gross (1896–1956)

az yosl klezmer shpilt af a simkhe,
tantst khevre vi a khvalye in yam,
me huliet, me trinkt un me zingt:
hey taydiri, taydiri, dam.

er tantst mit zayn fidl in redl
dem marshelik helft er tsum gram;
az yosl klezmer shpilt afn fidl
tantst khevre vi a khvalye in yam,

iber hundert un tsvantsik, az s’vet kumen
oykh yosls sho tsu geyn,
vet er farn kise hakoved
zikh shteln aleyn un kleyn.

nor az khevre vet im dort derzen
hey taydiri, taydiri, dam.
ot iz er yosl der klezmer!
un tantsn vi a khvalye in yam.



Composer: Lazar Weiner

Length: 02:13
Genre: Art Song

Performers: Raphael Frieder, Baritone;  Yehudi Wyner, Piano

Date Recorded: 12/01/2001
Venue: Lefrak Concert Hall/Colden Center for the Arts (E), Flushing, New York
Engineer: Lazarus, Tom
Assistant Engineer: Martyn, Tim

Additional Credits:

Translations and Transliterations: Eliyahu Mishulovin
Preliminary preparations by Adam J. Levitin


Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year! Stay up to date with our newsletter.

{{msToTime(currentPosition)}} / {{msToTime(duration)}}