Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II, Audio CD

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Step back into the 1930s and 1940s with these new recordings of a rare and poignant cache of songs that were lost in time for decades. The melodies are at once melancholy and swing into a snappy rhythm that will have you dancing round your kitchen or wherever you find yourself as you listen.

Yiddish Glory: The Lost Songs of World War II is the new recording of music created during the darkest chapter of European Jewish history. In the midst of World War II, a group of scholars led by ethnomusicologist Moisei Beregovsky (1892 – 1961) discovered songs written by Jewish Red Army soldiers, refugees, victims and survivors of Ukrainian ghettos.  One song was written by a 10-year-old orphan who lost his family in the ghetto in Tulchin, another by a teenage prisoner of the Pechora concentration camp, and yet another about a Red Army soldier who learns, upon his return to Kiev, that his family had been murdered in Babi Yar. These were the people, whose voices are rarely heard in reconstructing history, none of them professional poets or musicians, but all at the center of the most important historical event of the 20th century, and making sense of it through music.

Following the war, the researchers were arrested during Stalin’s anti-Jewish purge. The scholars’ works were confiscated, and they died thinking the collection was lost to history. The songs were discovered in unmarked boxes stored in the archives of the Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine in the 1990s.

In the early 2000s, a lucky coincidence brought Yiddish Professor Anna Shternshis to Kiev where she learned that these songs had survived all of these decades following the researchers’ arrests. Quickly deteriorating, fragile documents, some typed, but most hand-written, contained some of the most poignant and historically important Soviet Yiddish songs of World War II.

The Band:

Psoy Korolenko: Legendary Russian-American singer and songwriter. “Korolenko’s music clearly keeps …a sense of joy — even when discussing some pretty harsh realities” – PRI’s “The World”

Trio Loyko from St. Petersburg, Russia (often described as “Two Paganinis and a Segovia”).

Sergei Erdenko: Russia’s greatest living Roma Violinist, longtime collaborator of Yehudi Menuhin and founder of the group Loyko.

Artur Gorbenko: violinst, pianist, composer for numerous films and television programs, and former concertmaster from the Leningrad Conservatory.

Mikhail Savichev: virtuoso of classical and Romani guitar, graduate of Russia’s Novosibirsk Conservatory, before moving to Spain to study under the mentorship of Paco de Lucia.

Sophie Milman: Internationally renowned, Juno Award winning Jazz vocalist. “Sophie Milman reveals her interpretive finesse without a hitch” – The Washington Post.

Alexander Sevastian: from Quartetto Gelato, and winner of countless international classical accordion competitions and the world’s leading interpreter of Bach on the accordion.

Shalom Bard: clarinetist at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conductor of its youth symphony, and former principal clarinetist at the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

David Buchbinder: Juno Award winning trumpeter, composer & producer, founder of Odessa/Havana and artistic director of the New Canadian Global Music Orchestra.

Sasha Lurje: acclaimed Yiddish vocalist and performer in a wide range of styles and genres, as well as instructor at various festivals around the world.

And introducing Isaac Rosenberg: (just 12 years old when the project started) performs music written by a Jewish orphan whose parents were murdered during the Holocaust.

Anna Shternshis: Al and Malka Green Professor in Yiddish Studies and the Director of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto.

Audio CD includes 18 Songs & Booklet with multi-lingual lyrics and history behind the music.

Six Degrees Records with Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, 2018