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Brave Old World at Pavillon

At last - at last I heard Brave Old World live in a concert. They frequently have been in the near of Hannover in the past, but I never got sorted it out. On November, 11th now they performed again in Hannover Pavillon.

First, Alan Bern gave a short talk on what the audience might expect during this concert. The Braves digged up one of their former programmes: "Dus gesang fin getto Lodz" (Songs from the Lodz ghetto), first performed in 1990 at the Jewish Museum in Frankfurt/Main. They had revised it in order to remember the history of Lodz (Poland) ghetto and in honour of the unbeatable spirit of it's former inhabitants.

"Dus gesang fin getto Lodz" contains of both the band's own compositions and hardly known songs, created and sung in those days by Lodz street musicians. These songs have been collected by Dr. Gila Flam of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from survivors of the Lodz ghetto. Most of the songs have been created by Yankele Herszkowicz, and since Holocaust, they never have been presented in public until 1990. Up to now you can't hear them on any commercial recording. These songs vary from kind of depressing songs to cheerful dance music and pure satire. For example, the song titled "Rumkowski Chaim" is, on the face of it, a praise to Chaim Rumkowski, Nazi appointed chairman of the Jewish Council. "Chaim may live 100 years", one line of the song reads. A nice wish, huh? However - a real good Jewish wish is for at least 120 years ... These songs left behind deep impressions in the hearts of the audience. After the concert, my wife told me, "This touched me in a manner I actually can't explain - as if I had been there in those days myself." Of course she wasn't - at least not during this life.

The second part of the concert was attended with BOW's latest CD, "Blood Oranges". Now the (predominantly non-Jewish) audiance got to hear that stuff, most of them have in mind when thinking of Jewish music: cheerful highspeed rhythms, virtuoso clarinet playing, Yiddish wit ... Solely, Michael introducing his co-musicians in Yiddish, was a piece of cabaret of it's own. And then, in the middle of a song, he made the other three be silent, and with a very grin he asked the audiences "kompakten disks ze koyfen" after the concert.

Subject clarinet: Kurt Bjorling, normally clarinettist with Brave Old World, was busy in the States, so for the first time he had been replaced by Christian David from Bremen. After each solo, Christian seems to wonder about people cheering - no need to wonder, Christian, you've been great - und more than "just" a replacement for Kurt!

The musicians:

Michael Alpertvocals, violin, guitar, percussion
Alan Bernpiano, accordion
Christian Davidclarinet, bass clarinet
Stuart Brosmanbass, cimbalon, trombone

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