Jewish New Year Concert

Budapest Klezmer Band, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Last night we went to the first concert of the Belgrade Philharmonic season. We bought a ticket package themed “New Year Celebrations” and the first in the series celebrated the Jewish New Year, which was this week. The evening program featured Jewish composers.

In the second half of the concert, the Budapest Klezmer Band from Hungary. Klezmer is a traditional music form of the Eastern European Jews. Klezmer is quite lively, featuring the accordion, clarinet, violin, trombone, bass, and drums. Think of the dance tunes of Fiddler on the Roof. I really enjoyed the music and it was a welcome change from the seriousness of symphonic music. Many of the audience were still the normal somber, hushing tones of a classical music patron, but the musicians were asking for people to clap, and by the end, the infectious music had everyone in a good mood.

Sadly, not much is known about the original klezmer music due to the genocide of European Jews last century. It was brought back by the Yiddish immigrants to America and it survives today. It would be great to have a live band at a wedding or party. Give a listen to the short clip above. Having so many cultural opportunities is one of the nice things of being posted in Europe.

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