It is best to be cheerful! Because these crazy times are even less bearable when you’re disgruntled and permanently pessimistic. With “Zay Freylekh”, Dobranotch, the wild klezmer and Balkan band from St. Petersburg, celebrate the love of life in difficult times. And what better way to do that than with a whole album of klezmer songs? In their home country, the multicultural troupe is often invited to festivities such as weddings in the Jewish communities. And what would a Jewish wedding be without dancing?
That’s right, nothing! Some of the songs on the album are over 100 years old. And they have lost none of their freshness! By the way: A “Freylekh” generally refers to an Eastern European Jewish dance, which is mainly played at weddings. A special discovery is the fiddly “Birobidzhan”, the original of which comes from the Soviet film “The Fortune Seekers” from 1936.
At the time, Comrade Stalin had the dazzling idea of settling Russian Jews in Birobidhzan, a newly established autonomous region in the very Far East of Russia. The film was intended to boost the influx of Jewish settlers. At times, the song was very popular among Soviet Jews. One of the band members recently found the old single among his grandfather’s belongings! Another highlight is “Seni Severim”, a Sephardic version of a folk song originally from Turkey with the fabulous Marina Saloeva as guest singer. Here, Dobranotch’s Balkan influences are also allowed to flash.