A small singing book by Isabelle Georges
A tribute to Dorothée Vienney, a Yiddish teacher who passed away on February 23, 2021 at the age of 86, this bikhele lider (small singing book) by Isabelle Georges is a jewel by its simplicity, intimacy and beauty.
First of all there is a book, a compilation of various texts, including a short biography of Dorothée Vienney, song lyrics in French and Yiddish, a joke, a cooking recipe, a poem, friendly testimonies… We learn how she escaped from the Nazi cruelty, the death of her father, the passing through the free zone, the internment camp of Douadic, the separation with her brothers, and their reunion in 1944, and her life after the war, her learning of languages, among which Yiddish, that she taught afterwards.
Secondly, while reading the book, one must listen to the CD coming with it. Eight songs in Yiddish or in French, sung by Isabelle Georges, the famous velvet voice singer. These songs reflect all the feelings of a Yiddish soul: nostalgia (Di hoydlke, Du du), sadness (Zol zayn, Shtil di nakht is oysgeshternt), or joy (Shpil zhe mir a lidele in yiddish, Kum Leybke tantsn). The various instrumentations bring us in an intimate, sad or jolly atmosphere. Wether it is in duet with the guitar player Jérôme Brajtman, who also did the musical arrangements of almost all the songs, or with more instruments, with the Anouman Quartet, or the pianist Frederik Steenbrink, those songs reveal the love that had Isabelle Georges for Dorothée Vienney.
And even if Yiddish is not our culture, our language, and even if we did not meet Dorothée Vienney, one cannot be insensitive to so much honesty and beauty, literary and musical.
« Do not cry because it is over, be happy because it happened! »
װײנט נישט װײַל ס’איז געענדיקט, שמײכלט װײַל ס’איז געשען!
Vaynt nisht vayl s’iz geendikt, shmaykhlt vayl s’iz geshen!
“Every message of love, no matter how small, needs to be expressed. This one sings and wishes to exist also in the name of others, who will perhaps recognize themselves.”
A CD-book including beautiful illustrations by Myriam Racine, supported by the Maison de la Culture Yiddish, the Fondation pour la Mémoire de la Shoah and the association Yiddish Pour Tous.