Giora Feidman - clarinet, bass clarinet
Mario Korunic - violin
Konstantin Ischenko - accordion
Christoph Peters – guitar
Simon Ackermann – double bass
*members of the group may vary
“This is very Klezmer” Giora Feidman describes this program, and that tells everything, doesn’t it?
In his cooperation with the Munich based ensemble Gitanes Blondes Giora Feidman chose a new path. So far his Klezmer line-ups were groups he put together himself and had them following his sound concepts. In Gitanes Blondes for the first time he met a grown band with their own particular handwriting – in Giora Feidman’s opinon the best Klezmer group, no doubt, he encountered so far. Gitanes Blondes was founded in 1999 by violinist Mario Korunic. Korunic, Konstantin Ischenko (accordion), Christoph Peters (guitar) and Simon Ackermann (double bass), all educated the classical way and decorated with quite a few awards, are united by the joy of going beyond the classical borders and exploring Jazz, Klezmer und Balkan Folk in search of a joint way of expression. Thus they have long since established themselves as an ensemble, released four CDs of their own and set highlights on many a festival.
What will it sound like when the grandseigneur of Klezmer music and the young Klezmer generation get confronted? When the senior’s experience from numerous CD recordings and a lifetime on stage is supposed to join the impetuous and untamed joy of playing of four young virtuosos? They were speaking the same musical language right away, no doubt. But they still had to compose the adequate repertoire. The common fund of traditional Klezmer tunes was at hand. But to Giora Feidman’s understanding the Klezmer culture will only stay alive when including songs of today. And what better chance for a contemporary Klezmer in this sense could there be but the dialogue between different generations?
Ever since Feidman raised attention in Klezmer again, numerous composers around the world wrote new pieces continuing and further developing the old tradition, in some cases even wrote explicitly for the master himself. From this variety he and the musicians of Gitanes Blondes made a wonderful choice. “How do you like this one?”, Giora asked during rehearsals and the group answered: „If it’s a melody we want to play over and over, then it’s a good melody.” “Frylachs”, cheerful songs, were supposed to rule the mood, and indeed it turned out a boisterous, even danceable collection.
Some sound like far India, others like the Near East, some like Chassidic mysticism and some – quite worldly and true-to-life – like the Eastern European Shetl. A sparkling range of vivacious colors, immediately contagious and moving hearts and legs.