Cubo Futurist Klezmer
Founded in revolutionary Petrograd in 1919, relocating to Moscow two years later, and remaining there until it was silenced by Stalin in 1949, the Moscow State Yiddish Theatre (GOSET) was the not only the preeminent Jewish institution in the history of Soviet Union but likely the best attended Yiddish theater ever established in Europe. Populist in its material, avant-garde in its staging, the Moscow GOSET was above all, a musical theater, that drew on the talents of such distinguished Russian Jewish composers as Lev Pulver and Iosef Akhron.
The only collection of its kind, "Cubo Futurist Klezmer" contains all 15 known GOSET recordings, including songs from the classic productions of Koldunya, 200,000, and The Travels of Benjamin, as well as two of the great Yiddish actor Solomon Mikhoel's monologues from the GOSET's 1938 staging of Tevye the Milkman. This material has been drawn from surviving copies of the inexpensive souvenir '78s sold at the GOSET's Moscow theatre on Malaya Bronnya Street (and also the Soviet Pavilion at the 1939 New York World's Fair). Recording quality varies but the humor, inventiveness, and high spirits of this remarkable theater shines through the technical imperfections.
"Cubo-Futurist Klezmer" was assembled and annotated by Dr. Mel Gordon (Professor of Theater-UC Berkeley) and produced by J. Hoberman (author, Bridge of Light: Yiddish Film Between Two Worlds) as a luftmensh project, on the occasion of The Jewish Museum in New York's current show, "Marc Chagall: Early Works From Russian Collections." A limited number of CDs is available at $15 (postage included) in the US; $20 overseas. (Payment in US currency only.) Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.