Treasures of Yiddish archives (part 2)

A radio program of the European Institute for Jewish Music hosted by Hervé Roten


Facing the fast urbanisation and industrialisation that threat the traditional Jewish world of the Shtetl in the beginning of the 20th century, several Jewish intellectuals choose to organize ethnographic expeditions, to write down, take photographies or even record traces of a life that will completely vanish a few years later with the Nazis and Stalin. Between 1911 and 1914, the "Historical and ethnographical Jewish Society" - founded in St-Petersburg in 1908 - organizes the ethnographic expedition of Baron Ginzburg, under the direction of Shalom An-Ski (1863-1920).

The first part of the broadcast made us discover the richness of Yiddish music archives collected in Eastern Europe by searchers such as Engel, Kisselgof, Beregovski, or in USA by the folklorist Ruth Rubin.

With many sound sample, the second part of this broadcast will make us understand how today’s artists use the music of the past to make new creations.

Between the approach of reappropriation of Joël Rubin and the psychedelic Yiddish of the band Forshpil, the rock/folk/blues version of Wolf Krakowski and the Yiddish-Irish music of Lorin Sklamberg and Susan McKeown, Yiddish songs explore the world, blowing up borders between musical genres.

A journey in to Yiddish creation, guided by the singer and violinist Eléonore Biezunski, who works today on a PhD about territories of contemporary Yiddish songs.

Listen to the first part of Treasures of Yiddish archives

Officer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute for Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

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  • Trésor d’archives yiddish (partie 2) - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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