Pincus and the Pig: A Klezmer Tale

Pincus and the Pig: A Klezmer Tale

5.0 1
by Shirim Klezmer Orchestra
     
 
The Boston-based Shirim Klezmer Orchestra made a name for themselves with their inventive take on Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, which at long last gave Jewish youngsters -- and their parents -- an alternative to Christmas pageants. Part of the appeal, beyond the exuberant klezmer rhythms, was the cheeky Yiddish appropriation of this

Overview

The Boston-based Shirim Klezmer Orchestra made a name for themselves with their inventive take on Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker, which at long last gave Jewish youngsters -- and their parents -- an alternative to Christmas pageants. Part of the appeal, beyond the exuberant klezmer rhythms, was the cheeky Yiddish appropriation of this traditionally Gentile material -- the "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies" became the "March of the Latkes Queens," and so on. Pincus and the Pig, Shirim's interpretation of Peter and the Wolf, may not hold the same instant recognition for kids, but the story, narrated by children's book author Maurice Sendak, is a pleasing addition to the ferment of "radical Jewish culture" (as promoted by the record label, Tzadik, run by avant-garde trumpeter John Zorn). Sendak's narration is thick with Yiddishisms and accents, so much so that small children might have a hard time understanding him. Fortunately, the disc includes a short, illustrated booklet with the whole story, a Yiddish glossary, and a page of stickers. The best joke is right out front, with the little shtetl boy Pincus, depicted in floppy cap and side curls, menaced by a nasty piece of pork. Then there's the sly musical asides: klezmer versions of music by Brahms, Satie, Rimsky-Korsakov, and, of course Prokofiev, whose famous work is parodied on the disc's first 11 selections. The inspired playing, paired with Sendak's old-shul delivery, makes for a musical experience that's as much fun for adults as it is for the kinderlach.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Sean Westergaard
Following their successful klezmerization of "The Nutcracker Suite," the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra teamed up with renowned author/illustrator Maurice Sendak for Pincus and the Pig, a delightful klezmer recasting of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf." As with Prokofiev's classic, each of the characters is identified with a specific instrument, and Sendak not only provides the story and illustrations, but is also the narrator. Sendak's story and delivery are both filled with humor and Yiddish flavor. Also included is a small illustrated booklet replete with Yiddish glossary and a sheet of stickers of the characters, presumably for the kids. The musical arrangements by Shirim are just as wonderful as Sendak's contribution. The Pincus and the Pig tale is followed by several tracks without Sendak: klezmerized versions of well-known pieces by Rimsky-Korsakov, Brahms, Mahler, and Satie that are just as great as their transformation of "Peter and the Wolf." This is probably the first Tzadik release that seems targeted for kids, but this is a fun album for just about anyone, whether they're kids or Jewish or neither.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/19/2004
Label:
Tzadik
UPC:
0702397719526
catalogNumber:
7195
Rank:
149078

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Shirim Klezmer Orchestra   Primary Artist,Performing Ensemble
Maurice Sendak   Narrator
Glenn Dickson   Clarinet
David Harris   Trombone
Jim Gray   Tuba
Michael McLaughlin   Piano,Accordion
Eric Rosenthal   Drums
Brandon Seabrook   Banjo,Mandolin
Fishel Bressler   Glossary

Technical Credits

Johannes Brahms   Composer
Gustav Mahler   Composer
Sergey Prokofiev   Composer
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov   Composer
Erik Satie   Composer
Maurice Sendak   Composer,Artwork,Story,Story Writer
Glenn Dickson   Arranger,Producer
John Servies   Engineer,Engineering
Mark Tanzer   Engineer,Engineering
John Zorn   Executive Producer
David Harris   Arranger
Michael McLaughlin   Arranger
Eric Rosenthal   Producer
Fishel Bressler   Liner Notes

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Pincus and the Pig: A Klezmer Tale 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best new children's CDs I've heard in a long time. Definitely buy it for the Holidays!