Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano
- CDR 90000 065
Cedille Selects tracks are designed to provide a representative overview of the album
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There's more to traditional Jewish popular music than klezmer clarinet and Fiddler on the Roof. Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano revives the lively genre of Jewish cabaret and music hall songs from early twentieth-century Vienna and other vibrant centers of Jewish life.
Based on new scholarship from the University of Chicago, the CD entertains with songs of self-deprecating humor, political and cultural commentary, and social idealism (made all the more poignant by the unthinkable catastrophe soon to unfold).
You'll discover unfamiliar works by familiar names -- Weill, Milhaud, and even Schoenberg -- plus gems by once-prominent songsmiths such as Friedrich Holländer, a cabaret compatriot of Weill in the intimate cellar nightspots of Weimar Germany, and the inventive and gifted Hanns Eisler, closely associated with the cutting-edge political theater of Bertolt Brecht.
The songs offer vivid storytelling set to music drawn from varied sources including waltz, tango, and jazz. Featured singers are two Chicago cantors, exuberant soprano Deborah Bard and idiomatic baritone Stewart Figa, and mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, a sublime and highly sought interpreter of 20th century music. Cabaret-jazz accompaniment is by the (all-American) New Budapest Orpheum Society, an ensemble of violin, double bass, piano, and percussion.