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NEW RELEASE. Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi. City of the Future, Yiddish Songs from the Former Soviet Union

NEW RELEASE. Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi. City of the Future, Yiddish Songs from the  Former Soviet Union

ALBUM TITLE: City of the Future, Yiddish Songs from the

Former Soviet Union

Artists: Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi

Catalogue #: EUCD2617

Release Date: 13th November, 2015

Total playing time: 72:35 min.

City of the Future, Yiddish Songs from the Former Soviet Union is a new production by Yale Strom & Hot Pstromi with compositions by Shmuel Polonski and lyrics by Yiddish poets such as Peretz Markish, Izi Kharik and Itzik Feffer. Most of the songs on City of Future are being introduced to the world for the first time such as The Young GuardGirls Sewing at the MachinesThe Song of the Collective FarmerMy YouthThis Will BeVillage PainLuminous DetachmentsNot to Worry and City of the Future. These songs were formerly only heard within Yiddish communities in the Soviet Union.

City of the Future contains songs from Birobidzhan or The Jewish Autonomous Region located on the Amur River in the 1930s at a time when Yiddish culture was thriving in the former Soviet Union with theatres, schools, choirs, literature and discussion groups. Composer Shmuel Polonski wanted to spread the joy of Yiddish and Soviet life through these songs, largely sung by youth choruses.

In fact, City of the Future is as much an historical record as it is musical album , as the album’s executive producer, author and certified vegvayzer – secular Jewish leader – Eric A. Gordon writes in his informative liner notes, ‘City of the Future is a contemporary recreation of the 19 songs in his [Shmuel Polonski] 1931 songbook Far yugnt/For Youth…. At that particular moment in the arc of Russian, Soviet, and world history, this 29-year-old composer had reason to be hopeful. Addressing himself to youth, Polonski optimistically presumed that other songbooks and new traditions would emerge.’

O nly 3 songs on the album were well-known in Yiddish culture, being The WellThe Factory Song and Hirsh Lekert. Hirsh Lekert was a much celebrated folk hero amongst Jewish workers. As a Jewish social activist, Lekert defied the Czarist Governor of Vilna and was eventually arrested and hung for his protests in 1902.

Translating songs from Polonski’s original works for City of the Future was unique and exacting work undertaken by linguistic specialist Hershl Hartman, who also assisted the singers to adhere to Yiddish theatre’s Voliner dialect where possible. The songs original rhyme-patterns were also maintained as far as they could be. City of the Future follows in Yale Strom’s tradition of musical excellence and variance from a cappella in The Factory, to the art song October and carnival Klezmer Young Forces.

Yale Strom carefully selected seven of the best interpreters of Yiddish songs including Judy Bressler, Michael Alpert, Jack ‘Yankl’ Falk, Daniel Kahn, Vira Lozinsky, Anthony Russell and Elizabeth Schwartz. As Yale Strom says in his own words: ‘ This recording brings a freshness to a genre of Yiddish songs that still resonates today. I hope this project encourages Yiddish singers to once again sing these songs that represent a golden era of Yiddish culture in Soviet Jewish history.’

Album producer, Yale Strom is one of the world’s leading pioneers in the revival of klezmer music from Central and Eastern Europe from amongst the Jewish and Roma communities and is the recipient of multiple awards for his documentary filmmaking. Yale’s work as a ethnographer includes 75 research expeditions, 14 albums and 9 books, ‘ He’s a gifted photographer and author, a talented documentary filmmaker and has his own klezmer band… Strom’s multifaceted career is a wonder ’ – The New York Jewish Week. Yale Strom has taken care and time to ensure the continuation of Shmuel Polonski’s vision for his compositions. City of the Future will be released worldwide on 13th November, 2015 through the ARC Music label.

For more information please contact Angie Lemon: angie@arcmusic.co.uk Tel:+44 (0) 1342 770 486 | www.arcmusic.co.uk ARC Music Productions International | PO Box 111 | East Grinstead | West Sussex | RH19 4FZ | United Kingdom

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