“Klezmer is known to be of a hybrid nature, originating in a fusion of melodic, rhythmical and expressive structures from various geographic areas (the Balkans, Poland and Russia) with which the Jewish people got in contact with over time. With the arrival of emigrants in the United States from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century, klezmer has then been enriched by the contribution of jazz (the development of which it has had an influence on at its time).
Ever since, a lot has been done to keep this traditional music up to date, opening the already unified repertoire of Jewish themes and rhythms to more modern influences like rock and funk – think of the example of David Krakauer who has pushed klezmer as far as hip hop.
It is therefore difficult – for a band that wants to comprehensively (given the imperishable charm of this music) take part in this journey – to take ways not previously taken. This task has been handled well by Minimal Klezmer (Francesco Socal – clarinet, Roberto Durante – melodica, Martin Teshome – cello and Luca Piovesan – accordion), whose beautiful perfortmance I have seen at the Adriatico Mediterraneo Festival in Ancona.
You may ask: how have they done it? I would say, by accepting other two typical features of klezmer: a fusion of improvisation and written music, alternating between happiness and suffering, entertainment and spirituality. Through a skillful weaving of traditional motives and phrases, already highly expressive in the above stated emotions, their re-attangament in once intricately embedded polyrhythms, then light-hearted and irreverent pastiches with a distinct theatricality with a Cagean flavour (by the recovery of trivial objects, re-used by them as ‘musical toys’), MK construct complex and emotionally erratic narrative stories within each of the tunes but noticeable between the tunes themselves too, being arranged in some sort of dramatic plot that is played down by the song that closes the cd-performance.
To be seen, listened to, re-listened and lived until the last note.”
By Filippo Focosi – Kathodik