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RE: In defense of the recorder (ammendment)

On reflection, I think I might have been mistaken in the use of the word
"guild". I think the operative words used in conversation to me were
"Klezmer families". I was told that, in other parts of europe, Jewish
musicians who were not members of Klezmer families did play music in
competition with the Klezmer families. Leon Schwartz (from Bukovina?) was
cited as an example. But that in Poland the Klezmer families had much more
control. Furthermore, while Klezmer families elsewhere (e.g. Ukraine) were
adopting brass instruments, in Poland they were keeping them and all but
the best of the clarinetists out of the kapelye (the words "Warsaw theater"
suggested by Reyzl never came up). Mr. Hescheles himself was not from a
Klezmer family, but through unusual circumstances was invited to lead a

As I said, I got this information indirectly. But let us suppose for the
sake of discussion, that Mr. Hescheles actually said these things. Then I
suppose it would be valid to say that someone between him and the person I
spoke to over-generalized, since he couldn't have known what was going on
all over Poland, or in all the towns and villages.

But that would not invalidate my original point, which was that tastes
change regarding suitability of choice of instruments for klezmer music.
And not only was there a time when there were no brass or clarinet being
played by eastern european Jews, and the flute (much closer to the Recorder
in character) was being played, but that it seems there was also a time
when, at least in Poland, the introduction of brass, and even of clarinet,
might not have been all that welcome amongst the musicians. Yet today, they
dominate the genre.


>At 05:42 PM 3/24/2000 -0500, you wrote:
>>>Guilds held control over the composition of kapelyes.
>>What?  Who?  Where?  Maybe music directors in the Warsaw theater made 
>>formal exclusions, and this still needs to be checked if its true, but no 
>>such guilds existed in towns and villages.  You can not find take one 
>>little fact and rip it out of its context to make general, sweeping 
>>statements this way.
>This was not one little fact, and it wasn't ripped out of context. But I
>will tell you the context in which I heard it. I was suggesting to someone
>who communicates with Zev Feldman that Zev might be relying a bit too
>heavily on the testimony of one person (Mr. Hescheles), for his ideas about
>what was going on in the Polish klezmer scene early in the 20th c. The
>response was, yes, but what Mr. Hescheles has to say is so very valuable,
>because, amongst other reasons, he talks about subjects that no one else
>has ever talked about - he is filling in gaps in knowledge etc. etc. And
>one example given was this notion that brass and all but the best
>clarinetists were being kept rigorously out of the kapelyes in Poland.

---------------------- jewish-music (at) shamash(dot)org ---------------------+

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