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Real Belf vs. Fake Belf: How can you tell one musician from another?, with Joel Rubin
Lecture #29 in Joshua Horowitz’s series, The Promiscuous World of Jewish Music
Monday, December 21, 11am California/2pm New York/ 7pm UK/ 8pm most of Europe
Length: 1 – 2 hours.
Donations to Josh Horowitz are accepted and appreciated.
Zoom Meeting ID: 967 8901 9038
There is a Zoom limit of 100 participants.
Instrumental style continues to be a major focus of klezmer revivalists, especially regarding the ornaments and variations found on historical klezmer discs. Particularly iconic has been the style of New York clarinetists such as Naftule Brandwein and Dave Tarras – the subject of the new book by Joel Rubin, “New York Klezmer in the Early Twentieth Century.” But Tarras and Brandwein are just the tip of the iceberg. Over the past several decades, archival and discographical work has uncovered the recordings of thirty clarinetists spread across four continents and several generations. Especially the recordings of the mysterious Belf have captivated musicians for decades. By looking more closely at Belf’s recordings and other pre-World War One recordings attributed to him, we will open up a window into a large range of stylistic parameters that co-existed under the klezmer umbrella historically, and so lead to a hopefully richer appreciation of the possibilities that exist in historically-informed klezmer music today.