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February 14, 2003 - Image 66

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-02-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Jewish love songs
make up only part of
the double CD
Dancing on the Edge of
a Volcano, which fea-
tures Jewish cabaret,
popular and political
songs centered on the
years between 1900
and 1945.
Featured performers,
members of the all-
The New Budapest Orpheum Society performs the music
American New
on "Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano."
Budapest Orpheum
Society, include
Chicago-area cantors
were the evening's entertainment at a
Stewart Figa and Deborah Bard.
meeting I attended, and I was
Figa, who has performed in New
absolutely fascinated," recalls
York's Yiddish theater, has sung the
Ginsburg, a former music critic and
classic "Rumania, Rumania" on televi-
the son of Supreme Court Justice
sion. Bard has appeared in professional Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
theater in Chicago and New York.
"They'd been presenting these songs
"Jewish love songs, like any other
at different venues, and we worked up
love songs, run the gamut of emo-
a full CD program."
tions, but these also have a little bit of
Movie buffs will probably recognize
irony or detachment and a quality of
the melody of "From Head to Toe I
not taking oneself
Am Prepared
quite so seriously," says
for Love," writ-
James Ginsburg, man-
ten by Friedrich
Dancing
ager, producer and
Hollander and
on the Edge
founder of Cedille, an
performed in
of a 'Volcano
independent, nonprof-
the Marlene
it, classical record label
Dietrich film
not restricted to Jewish
The Blue Angel
music.
"Do a Little
"These songs give us
Dreaming,"
a chance to look back
another
on another era."
Hollander song,
Cedille, the record-
came at a time
ing label for the
when there was-
Chicago Classical
n't much happi-
ness in reality
Recording
"Jewish love songs, like any other love for Jews in
Foundation, focuses
songs, run the gamut of emotions, but
on Chicago-area per-
Europe.
these also have a little bit of irony or
forming artists and
Dreaming was
detachment," says James Ginsburg of one form of
offers a companion
the Cedille label that issued "Dancing escapism that
booklet for this project
on the Edge of a Volcano."
brought happi-
that explains the times
in which the songs
ness by thoughts
were performed and gives the words
of beautiful things.
and history of each selection.
"The CD title, Dancing on the Edge
The tension between tradition and
of the Volcano, has to do with what was
modernity is explored in the booklet
erupting around Jews in the 1930s
written by Philip V. Bohlman, artistic
and 1940s," Ginsburg says.
director of the New Budapest
"'Do a Little Dreaming' was one
Orpheum Society. A University of
way of dancing around the volcano
Chicago ethnomusicologist, Bohlman
and essentially dealing with what was
unearthed much of the repertoire on
going on, and I think there's a reso-
the CD.
nance with the [feelings surrounding]
"Professor Bohlman and his troupe
terrorism in Israel."

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