This collection of duets arranged for clarinet and accordion is a comprehensive introduction to the Jewish musical tradition of klezmer. Pedagogically valuable, the collection inspires players to experience and understand the tradition on a deeper level. The seamless blend of composition and player - a characteristic feature of klezmer - makes Yiddish folk music especially enticing. The characteristic mix of traditional themes (which are imaginatively developed and varied), hidden agogics, narrative style, and a wealth of sound possibilities make this genre truly unique. This explains the diversity of the 10 pieces that have been selected and arranged by the editors Christian Dawid and Alan Bern.
The collection contains dancing, emotional, solemn, and lively pieces, with a stylistic complexity spanning from simple tunes to energetic rhythms. The melody, phrasing and ornamentation are to be understood as a natural representation of the human voice, which makes these pieces especially well-suited for the clarinet. The player must produce a clearly articulated sound and maintain a singing tone quality throughout. The development of technical ease and a strong rhythmic pulse add to the interesting challenge of truly understanding the art of klezmer.
• Ten intermediate-level, traditional Klezmer pieces
• The included detailed instructions and phrasings help players realize the typical rich expressiveness of Klezmer music
• Both instruments are equally important
• Tips for every piece are provided by the Klezmer specialists Christian Dawid (clarinet) and Alan Bern (accordion)
The editors have recorded videos to demonstrate the authentic interpretation of klezmer.
As a result we have a fine collection of pieces written specifically for the clarinet, without the need for the book to be marketed with other instruments in mind. (...) The collection contains several different klezmer styles, for example the 'hora' (in three time) and the 'freilach' (Lively dance). At the back of the book is an extensive chapter on ornamentation and phrasing which gives klezmer music so much of its character.
Clarinet & Saxophone Magazine, Summer 2016 Volume 41 No.2 (Andrew Smith)