Yiddish Music from the Ghettos and Concentration Camps

The Netherlands – Under the title Shtil, di nakht iz oysgehsternt (Quiet, the night is full of stars) a remarkable CD will be re-released under the label of Dutch record company EMI in April 2005 with Yiddish music, which originated and was
played during and before World War II in the concentration camps and in the
Jewish ghettos.

The CD is a re-release of a highly esteemed rendering from 1995 with Dutch violinist Adriaan Stoet and pianist Tjako van Schie, and actually these days again there is big interest in this music.The music that was made during the Second World War in the Jewish ghettos and concentration camps is recognizable, penetrating and straight from the heart.

Music was played under the most appalling conditions. Musicians, many of whom were well known professionals, were not only summoned to play at parties for the Nazis but also at executions of Jews. This absurd reality left its tracks in what we now know as Yiddish ghetto music: lively dancing notes were interspersed with distressing tones and wry chords. Part of this music included songs that were passed down by word of mouth. The accompaniment was often improvised.

A lot of the compositions have therefore been concisely preserved. In some cases only pieces of the melody are known. The music is nevertheless so moving that even without lyrics they unambiguously express the feelings of the composer. The symbolic function of this music was very important for the Jews. Through music they could express what they were forbidden to say.

A number of pieces on the CD have been reconstructed from the extremely limited material. We believe that through an entirely instrumental representation of this music the imagination of the listener is intensified. The content of the lyrics and the backgrounds of the composers and writers have been, as far as possible, concisely given in the English booklet.

More info at tjakovanschie.com

Author: admin