The Klezmatics / Chava Alberstein
The Well/Di Krenitse - A Naye CD
review by Adam Whiteman

Album cover: green

The Klezmatics / Chava Alberstein
Di Krenitse (The Well)

Xenophile, Xeno 4052, 1998

Note: I have written extensively about this material in live performance (see sidebar, this webpage). Then Adam Whiteman, whose wife introduced me to Yiddish a couple of KlezKamps ago, wrote this review for the Mendele mailing list. I am grateful to him, and to "Andrew Cassel, for allowing me to reprint those remarks here. I hope there will be more reviews in Yiddish on these pages, of Yiddish and non-Yiddish music. In the meantime, remember that the L.A. Weekly chose "The Well" as one of the ten best albums of 1998 in ... pop. Also on the list were Aerosmith, P.J. Harvey, and Marilyn Manson. They wrote a beautiful note: "The Yiddish longing of Alberstein's universal voice. If there is any hope for humanity as we knew it, it's here." ari (with help from Itzik Becher)

Far di vos hobn nit gehat di gelegnhayt tsu hern dem nayem kompakt disk Di Krenitse/The Well fun Khave Albershteyn un di Klezmatics....farfelt es nit.

S'iz an uysnam! Fuftsn lider fun tsivshn di beste yidishe shraybers fun di letste 125 yor mit muzik fun Khave Albershteyn. Di aranzhirungen fun di Klezmatics zenen farkhapndik. Tsvishn di vos ikh zing tsu zikh aleyn afn metro az ikh for tsu der arbet zenen Ver Es Hot un Vek Nisht beyde fun Avrom Reisen, Binem Hellers Mayn Shvester Khaye, Velkhes Meydl S'Nemt a Bokher fun Zishe Landau, Di Goldene Pave fun Anna Margolin, un Zayt Gezunt fun H. Leivikn.

Khave Albershteyn iz tsvishn di getseylte Yisroeldike zingers vos zingen af hebreyish un shemen zikh nit tsu zingen af yidish eykh. Mit dem disk vayst zi uys az zi hot nit kin meyre arayntsubrenbegen naye Yidishe lider in ir repertuar . Zi blaybt nit nor bay di alte shlagern!

Yasher keyekh tsu Khave un di Klezmatics....ikh hof az dos iz nit der letster disk tsuzamen!

Geshribn fun Adam Whiteman, Queens, NY, 10 Nov, 1998

Date: Thu, 22 Oct 1998
From: "Andrew Cassel"
Subject: The Well/Di Krenitse - A Naye CD

Ikh bin punkt in maskem mit Adam Whiteman vegn "Di Krenitse" fun Khave Albershteyn un Di Klezmatics. s'iz a mekhaye tsu hern. 'kh'ob oykh gehat di gliklikhe gelegenhayt tsu zey zeyen in konzert do in Philadelphia -- s'iz geven a freylekher, vunderlekher nokh-mitog. k'hob nor eyn tayne -- zey hobn tsvishn di lider gornit dertseylt vegn di lider un di shraybers. lemoshl, hobn zey gezungen fun leivick's a lid, a sheyner, posheter vos heyst "zayt gezunt". m'zol visn az leivick hot es geshribn vegn a tsarishn tfise in sibir. un ikh volt mer visn vegn zhame telesin, ver hot geshribn a lid "ikh shtey unter a bokserboym" vos Khave hot gezungen azoy zis.

nu, meyle; s'iz take a geshmak, finer forshtelung.

Andrew Cassel

Personnel this recording:
Chava Alberstein: vocals, classical guitar
Lorin Sklamberg: vocals, accordion, piano, bass accordion, harmonium
Alicia Svigals: violin
Frank London: trumpet, flugelhorn, alto horn, piano, harmonium, bass accordion, synthesizer
David Licht: drums & percussion
Matt Darriau: clarinet, bass clarinet, alto sax, kaval, harmonium
Paul Morrissett: electric bass, double bass, tsimbl, hardanger fiddle

Ben Mink:
guitar (3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 13); mandocello (12, 14); mandolin (10); programming (3, 9, 12)
John Friesen: cello (6)

Produced by Ben Mink
Poems translated from Yiddish by Michael Wex


di krenitse (yiddish type)


Di krenitse—The Well (poem: Itsik Fefer; arr. Klezmatics) 4:10

dremlen feygl (yiddish type)


Ikh shtey unter a bokserboym—I stand beneath a carob tree (poem: Zhame Telesin; arr. Paul Morrissett) 3:52

Ergets Shtil/Baym Taykh (yiddish type)


Ergets shtil/Baym taykh—Software somewhere / At the river (poem: Leyb Naydus & Mani Leyb; arr. Klezmatics) 3:42

ver es hot (yiddish type)


Ver es hot—One has got (poem: Abraham Reisen; arr. Darriau/London) 4:03

ovnt_lid (yiddish type)


Ovnt lid—Crepuscule (poem: Itsik Manger; arr. London) 3:30

a malekh veynt (yiddish type)


A malekh veynt—An angel weeps (poem: Peretz Hirshbein; arr. Ben Mink, John Friesen) 1:18

Bay nakht (yiddish type)


Bay Nakht—At night (poem: A. Olmi; arr. Klezmatics) 2:50

Vek nisht (yiddish type)


Vek Nisht—Don't waken (poem: Abraham Reisen; arr. Klezmatics/London) 2:42

Kh'vel oyston di shikh (yiddish type)


Kh'vel oyston di shikh—I'm going to take off my shoes (poem: Itsik Manger; arr. London) 4:06

Mayn shvester khaye (yiddish type)


Mayn shvester khaye—My sister Chaye (poem: Binem Heller; arr. Klezmatics) 3:58

Umetik (yiddish type)


Umetik—Lonesome (poem: B.I. Bialostotsky; arr. Darriau) 4:17

Di elter (yiddish type)


Di elter—Old age (poem: Itsik Fefer; arr. Licht, London) 3:05

Velkhes meydl s'nemt a bokher (yiddish type)


Velkhes meydl s'nemt a bokher—Any girl who takes a boyfriend (poem: Zishe Landau; arr. Svigals) 2:54

Di goldene pave (yiddish type)


Di goldene pave—The golden peacock (poem: Anna Margolin; arr. Klezmatics/Svigals) 3:59

Zayt gezunt (yiddish type)


Zayt gezunt—Farewell (poem: H. Leivick; arr. Klezmatics) 4:27

*All music by Chava Alberstein. Poems and arrangements as noted.

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