On Friday, February 15, 2008 at 7:30pm, the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra will perform at Rosa Hart Theater in Lake Charles, LA.
A typical Shirim concert includes three elements. These elements are traditional klezmer as it has been played, American jazz-influenced klezmer, and what Shirim calls “klezmerization.” Klezmerization is when the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra plays classical selections, such as Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker” in the klezmer style of music.
Klezmer is a musical tradition that parallels Hasidic and Ashkenzaic Judaism. It is the contraction of two Hebrew words that mean “instrument of song.” This type of music was secular (not used for religious purposes) and was developed by musicians known as kleyzmorim or kleyzmerim.
The devotional traditions of klezmer music draw back from Biblical times. It is common for klezmer musicians to play dance songs for weddings and other celebrations.
The word klezmer originally referred to musical instruments. Later, it referred to the musicians. In the 20th century, the word klezmer came to be a genre of music. Before this, it was most often known as “Yiddish” music and was sometimes known as Freilech music.
This program will include a performance of “Pincus and the Pig.”
“Pincus and the Pig” is a klezmerization of Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” However, also to this music the drawings of Maurice Sendak are applied to tell a new story, “Pincus and the Pig.” A narrator also tells the story. This night it will be Brenda Barchak of Lake Charles, LA.
The Shirim Klezmer Orchestra has had some wonderful praise.
“You have to hear Shirim’s delightful interpretation to know what a brilliant combination klezmer and Tchaikovsky make.” -National Public Radio (Performance Today)
Shirim’s “Klezmer Nutcracker” sounds utterly natural and totally compelling. Klezmer devotees will rejoice at the fresh stock of great tunes, and classical fans so far immune to the Russian composer’s populist favorite should find themselves swooning…Shirim’s genre-crossing conception is a delight and its playing a joy. -Billboard Magazine (Critics Choice)
You don’t have to speak Yiddish to dig this music. They are exotic a little and hot a lot. Superior musicians! -Woods Hole Folk Music Society.
Their concert at the Museum of Natural History’s Baird Auditorium (Washington, DC) was fantastic…Glenn Dickson’s clarinet runs are as dazzling as those of any flashy rock guitarist and the band’s unusual rhythm section of drums, piano, tuba, and percussion stomp along in fine style. -Dirty Linen Magazine
This performance is part of the Banners Series.
Admission for this concert is $20 for adults, $5 for students, and free to McNeese students with student ID.