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Yiddish Songs from the repertoire of Michail Epelbaum (Еврейские песни из репертуара Михаила Эпельбаума)



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Compiled by Alexander Frenkel
and Evgeny Khazdan

Mikhail Epelbaum (1894-1957) the world-famous performer of Yiddish
songs, was extraordinarily popular among Jewish audiences. For a whole
generation of Soviet Yiddish singers, Epelbaum was a pioneer and model.

The beginnings of Epelbaurn's career lay in the Jewish operetta and drama
troupes that wandered the Pale of Settlement and the Kingdom of Poland.
After the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, Epelbaum began giving solo concerts
in Yiddish, and in the early 1920s he made wildly successful concert tours
in the cities of Russia, Ukraine, and Belorussia. In 1926, he went on tour
in the West, where audiences in Riga, Berlin, Paris, Buenos Aires, and New
York enthusiastically received him. It was in New York that he made his first
record. In 1929, Epelbaum returned to the Soviet Union, settled in Leningrad,
and gave performances all over the country. In 1937, the Soviet sovernment
awarded him the official title of Honored Artist of the Russian Federation. In
1949, during Stalin's infamous anti-Semitic campaign, the same government
sentenced Epelbaum to ten years in labor camps and ordered his property
confiscated. In 1954, Epelbaum was released from the Gulag: although he was
a sick man, he had not been broken. Only two years after the dictator's death,
Epelbaum was "among the first to begin touring the country again performing
Yiddish songs, thus bringing joy and hope back to intimidated Soviet-Jewish

Edited and published by the Jewish Community Center of St. Petersburg
to commemorate the 120th anniversary of Epelbaum's birth, this compilation
features folk songs from this outstanding singer's repertoire and original songs
written especially for him. Aside from the music, it includes the lyrics in
Yiddish, accompanied by Latin transliterations and Russian translations, along
with detailed commentaries. The book opens with an extensive biographical

Mikhail Epelbaum recorded only twenty-five of the Yiddish songs from his
repertoire. These were released on thirteen different records by US and Soviet
labels in the 1920s and 1930s) and they have all been included on the CD
supplement to the book.

Jewish Community Center of St. Petersburg (Rubinshteina Street, 3)
E-mail: frenk99 at
Name: Yiddish Songs from the repertoire of Michail Epelbaum
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Label(s): Books
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Added by: bernikov | 12.01.2015 02:04 | Last updated by:  bernikov | 13.01.2015 00:15
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