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© Photo Courtesy of the Moscow Male Jewish Choir

Moscow Male Jewish Choir ‘Hasidic Cappella’: ‘Le Dor Va Dor’

by at 10/10/2011 20:20

Oct. 17, 7 pm, at the Nikitskaya Jewish Cultural Center, 47/3 Bolshaya Nikitskaya Ul., www.jcc.ru

A diverse program spanning traditional Jewish liturgical pieces, Yiddish folk songs and Soviet pop hits is promised at the Moscow Male Jewish Choir’s concert on Monday.

The choir’s artistic leader and conductor Alexander Tsaliuk said the concert would also include some little-known classical Jewish songs that have rarely been performed anywhere in the world.

“Some of this music we got from the KGB archive, after Mikhail Gorbachev gave official permission to open the choir in 1989 and we were given arrested materials from the 1930s-40s,” he said. “This music was strictly forbidden in our country until the time of perestroika.”

The Soviet songs in the concert’s second half were written by Jewish popular composers. The repertoire includes favorites like “Dorogiye Moi Moskvichi” and songs from the soundtracks of cinema classics.

Tsaliuk said these songs had many melodic, rhythmical and harmonic similarities with old Jewish musical prayers and Yiddish songs.

“Sometimes you can hear almost the same tunes and melodies,” he said. “It’s most strange, that these Soviet songs have been so popular, and everybody used to sing them, including our communist leaders – even Stalin! – popularising this culture, but none of them could guess where this music comes from.”

The choir has performed in Israel and the US as well as across Russia and the former Soviet states.

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