Five traditional Yiddish songs, arranged by Alexander Massey for 3 voices (soprano, alto, and tenor/bass) with piano – can be performed unison with piano, or with 2nd and/or 3rd voice.
5 pieces, 35 pages of sheet music – PDF – £11.99 – BUY NOW
A mixture of lullabies, comic stories, and a simple Shabbat song, these arrangements, with their creative piano parts, are alternately touching and entertaining. Even though relatively easy to learn for a choir of modest musical and vocal abilities, these pieces are musically, emotionally and dramatically effective in performance.
I have created a brand new English lyric that is a close translation of the Yiddish. This provides an alternative performance version, and can also help the singers understand line by line what they are singing when they perform in Yiddish.
A Malekh Veynt (An Angel Weeps) – beautiful, gentle 3/4 in G minor; the singer waits and yearns for her/his lover; the music builds through 3 verses to an intense finish. (Audio for each part – password protected.)
A Geneyve (A Burglar!) – a fast, riotous, comic 2/4 in F# minor; lots of fast words to fit in; everyone gets a chance at the tune. (Audio for each part – password protected.)
Shabes Likht, Un Shabes Lompn (Shabes Light and Shabes Candles) – on the transformative moment of lighting the Shabbat candles, and bringing a healing, uplifting 24 hours; 2/2 in F minor, simple harmonisation, with a ‘dai-di-di dam dam’ chorus. (Audio for each part – password protected.)
Shlof Mayn Kind, Shlof Keseyder (Sleep, My Child, Sleep) – beautiful, lilting lullaby; 3/4 in D minor; each voice gets to sing the tune in one of the four verses. (Audio for each part – password protected.)
Di Bord (The Beard) – Lively, comic song. A wife objects to her husband shaving off his beard, claiming that it represents the downfall of tradition and therefore threatens their very way of life; 3/4 in C major; everyone gets a verse; a good chorus for the audience to join in. (Audio for each part – password protected.)
The booklet includes a useful guide to the transliteration and pronunciation of the Yiddish, as well as guidance for performance, using the English translations, and hints for how to teach and learn the music. Read more ›