DANCING ON THE EDGE OF A VOLCANO, (which was released a couple of years ago) is currently being sold olnline by Cedille Records at https://www.cedillerecords.org/ with a sale through mid January. (for $12) Some people who want to add this to their collections for a relatively inexpensive price, may want to know.
Jewish Cabaret, Popular, and Political Songs 1900-1945
CDR 90000 065 (2 CD set)
New Budapest Orpheum Society
Philip V. Bohlman, Artistic Director
Ilya Levinson, Music Director & Arranger
Stewart Figa, baritone — (SF)
Julia Bentley, mezzo-soprano — (JB)
Deborah Bard, soprano — (DB)
Ilya Levinson, piano
Peter Blagoev, violin
Stewart Miller, bass
Hank Tausend, percussion
Elizabeth Ko, flute
Jon Steinhagen, American lyrics
There’s more to traditional Jewish popular music than klezmer clarinet and Broadway-style fiddling on the roof. Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano revives the lively genre of Jewish cabaret and music hall songs from early twentieth-century Vienna and other vibrant centers of Jewish life.
Based on new scholarship from the University of Chicago, the CD entertains with songs of self-deprecating humor, political and cultural commentary, and social idealism (made all the more poignant by the unthinkable catastrophe soon to unfold).
You’ll discover unfamiliar works by familiar names — Weill, Milhaud, and even Schoenberg — plus gems by once-prominent songsmiths such as Friedrich Holländer, a cabaret compatriot of Weill in the intimate cellar nightspots of Weimar Germany, and the inventive and gifted Hanns Eisler, closely associated with the cutting-edge political theater of Bertolt Brecht.
The songs offer vivid storytelling set to music drawn from varied sources including waltz, tango, and jazz. Featured singers are two Chicago cantors, exuberant soprano Deborah Bard and idiomatic baritone Stewart Figa, and mezzo-soprano Julia Bentley, a sublime and highly sought interpreter of 20th century music. Cabaret-jazz accompaniment is by the (all-American) New Budapest Orpheum Society, an ensemble of violin, double bass, piano, and percussion.
“Philip V. Bohlman (Artistic Director) is Professor of Music and Jewish Studies at the University of Chicago. An ethnomusicologist whose fieldwork has taken him to Jewish communities in central and eastern Europe, and in Israel, Bohlman undertook the research responsible for uncovering much of the repertory for Dancing on the Edge of a Volcano. His diverse scholarly projects concentrate on recovering forgotten or destroyed Jewish musical traditions. When the New Budapest Orpheum Society goes on the road, he plays the role of “Herr Ober.” The author or editor of many books, Bohlman has most recently published The Folk Songs of Ashkenaz (with Otto Holzapfel, A-R Editions, 2001) and World Music: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2002).”