The Wolf and the Lamb – Live at the Shakh

Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi

 “The Wolf and the Lamb,” by klezmer legend Yale Strom and his group Hot Pstromi, was recorded in the beautifully-restored synagogue in Holesov, CZ. The album resurrects Jewish music from the community of Holesov – a town of 12,000 that was 1/3 Jewish at the turn of the last century.  Yale Strom researched lost traditions from Holesov, a combination of oral histories and finding old manuscripts.

An old Yiddish poem inspires the track ‘The Wolf and the Lamb’, believed to be sung as a lullaby, and relays a tale of Jewish communities deeply ingrained in the Burgenland region of Austria. Originally without a melody, Yale Strom composed the tune in the impressionistic classical style. Combined with vocals performed in the authentic Yiddish dialect of the area, the song evokes specific moods and emotions and provides a musical manifestation of the album’s concept and motifs.

Sprinkled through the unmistakable sounds of klezmer, we witness evidence of cultural crossings as influences from Ukrainian, Livonian, Belarusian, and Romani peoples ring through in a harmony that transcends music and echoes through time itself. The album’s themes are perhaps no better displayed than in the title track. In the band leader Yale Strom’s own words… “The Wolf and The Lamb explores the tension between tradition and exploration. This tension is a hallmark of our music, which rests on the traditional form and modern exploration.”

Yale Strom is a violinist, composer, and one of the world’s leading ethnographer-artists of klezmer music and history. His extensive ethnographic research in Eastern Europe plays an integral part in forming the repertoire of his klezmer band Hot Pstromi. Founded in 1981 and based in New York and San Diego, this group of virtuoso international musicians has been delighting klezmer music fans around the world for over forty years.

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