Review: Daniel Galay's Klezmer - Klezcontrol


Album Cover - Klezcontrol
 Artist: Daniel Galay's Klezmer
 Album: Klezcontrol
 Date of Release: 1999
 Label: OR-TAV Music Publications
 Cat. No.:  
 Country of Release: IL
 Genre/s: 1. Classical | Chamber
2. World | Jewish

 Sub-Genre/s: 1. Crossover
2. Contemporary, Klezmer
 Type: Live
   Time: 42:52
   Date of Review: 2003/03/19
   Web Site:  

Purchasing Info

Klezmer with a Classical Touch?

Daniel Galay's Klezmer's album Klezcontrol was recorded live at the Yiddish Lebt Festival in Givatayim, Israel on 26 December 1999, the group having been specially formed for the festival. The album was released in 1999 by OR-TAV Music Publications, Kfar Sava, Israel.

If you're expecting "conventional" klezmer fare, be prepared to be surprised. Daniel Galay's Klezmer is described as "Klezmer with a classical touch" - but in this reviewer's opinion, this description is way off the mark. Classical with a klezmer touch would come much, much closer. Essentially, I would describe this as crossover chamber music based on klezmer tunes. The arrangements bear the stamp of chamber music writing all over and very clearly. As such, taken on its own terms, the music works very well and is a very pleasant, even enjoyable listening experience.

Of the eighteen tracks on Klezcontrol, two are described as traditional klezmer tunes (without titles being given), the rest are originals by composer Daniel Galay. The compositions are often highly reminiscent of traditional klezmer tunes, at least in parts, while at the same time often recalling romantic and late classical composers or styles, and almost as often 20th century idioms. (There even are a few fairly straight quotes here and there, unless I'm terribly mistaken!) Take out the percussion and accordion, and much of the music could almost have jumped straight out of a (more or less) conventional 19th century clarinet quintet with double bass, or remove the bass as well for a plain clarinet quintet, albeit with a klezmer flavour. As said, it all works well enough. However, as hard as I might try to like it and get enthusiastic about this album, it's just very hard to find anything that's particularly original, inventive, or adventurous, or even distinguishing here. The performance is flawless, the ensemble play very well indeed as an ensemble and you'd never guess they'd been thrown together specifically for a particular occasion. The compositions and arrangements are more than competent, quite excellent in part even, and the blending of klezmer and classical is very smooth and works very well indeed. The overall result is pleasant enough and enjoyable even. Yet, for me at any rate, there is something missing, somewhere...

With all that said, I still recommend you give Daniel Galay's Klezmer and Klezcontrol a listen. You may just love it.

© 2003 Rainlore's World of Music/Rainlore. All rights reserved.

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Track List:

 1. Traditional Klezmer Tune #1 - 2:38
 2. Far Rivke (For Rivke) - 2:10
 3. Farfelekh - Farfel - 2:10
 4. Far Pinies Tekhter (For Pinye's daughter) - 1:39
 5. Far Vos Raboysay? (For what, gentleman?) - 1:08
 6. Far Dvoirele (For Deborah) - 2:28
 7. Farbaysekhts - A snack - 2:13
 8. Farn Keyser - For the Emperor - 1:40
 9. Farginer - The benevolent - 2:24
10. Far Ale Mol! - Forever! - 1:59
11. Farkatshte Arbl - Folded sleeves - 2:24
12. Farputste Lordn - Elegant Lords - 2:34
13. Farshpetykung - Lateness - 2:56
14. Fardreyte Mayse - A crooked story - 2:13
15. Far Yentele - For Yentel - 3:29
16. Far Khosn-Kale - For bride and groom - 2:27
17. Farshtopte Kep - 2:34
18. Traditional Tune #2 - 2:46

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Michael Gorodetsky - clarinet
Mila Batelman - violin
Shlomo Yagolnitser - violin
Mikhael Tsinman - viola
Gershon Fridman - cello
Shimon Gorba - contrabass
Uzi Rozenblat - accordion
Rafi Frayman - percussion


Purchasing Info:

Klezcontrol can be purchased:


From Jewish Music Distribution JMD UK

From Hatikvah Music International (US)

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