Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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  • European Klezmer Music [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2000] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

European Klezmer Music [Smithsonian/Folkways, 2000]
The idea of klezmer as goodtime music makes every bit as much sense as the idea of polka as goodtime music. Obviously that's the main thing both are supposed to be. Only goodtime musics happen to be a passion of mine, and there are plenty that do the deed better. So the klezmer that moves me generally has spiritual ambitions. With Klezmatics violinist Alicia Svigals relegated to second fiddle by leader Steven Greenman, this American ensemble performs original-instrumentation suites designed for rich people's weddings a century ago. Never a repertoire that took celebration to unseemly extremes, by now it partakes of a classical civility that packs just the charm to soothe a plebe with no passion for civility. A-