Yiddish song is a general description of several genres of music sung in Yiddish which includes songs of Yiddish theatre, Klezmer songs, and “Yiddish art song” after the model of the German Lied and French mélodie.
From the fourteenth century secular songs were sung in Yiddish, though rabbis of the period directed that sacred songs were only to be sung in Hebrew.
One of the main genres of Yiddish folk song in Central and Eastern Europe is Klezmer, which was also exported to America and Israel, though Henry Sapoznik (2005) writes “Historically, Yiddish song and theater have had a higher visibility than klezmer music in Israel.” Generally 17th and 18th century songs and lullabies are anonymous, but the composers of others such as are known; such as Oyfn Pripetshik “On The Hearth” by Mark Warshawsky.
In Europe many of the songs of the Yiddish theatre companies were composed as incidental music to musical theatre, or at least plays with strong musical content, whereas others are “hit” individual arias and numbers culled from Yiddish operetta. In America, aside from America’s own Yiddish theatres, songwriters and composers employed Yiddish folk and theatre songs, along with synagogue modes and melodies, as material for the music of Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood. Irving Berlin was one of the popular composers to move from Yiddish song to English songs. Bei Mir Bistu Shein is an example of a Yiddish song which was later recast as an English hit. (wikipedia)
Unfortunately I have no information about this orchestra, but I know this is a really good album.
I have owned this album for several years and never get tired of listening to it. It points up the star quality of the Bucharest State Jewish Theater, which somehow prospered under the repressive Ceausescu regime in Romania. I am not sure if it still exists, but this wonderful and inexpensive disk preserves an excellent record of their virtuosity and talent. These are some of the most delightful Yiddish folk songs, sung in the Southern Yiddish dialect, and beautifully! I hope that this wonderful troupe still exists and performs in Romania! Zayt gezunt! (MBW)
01. A Nigndl 2.49
02. Gei Ich Mir Spazim 1.48
03. Leig Ich Mir Mein Kepale 3.05
04. Lamce Ram Ciam 1.35
05. Di Mame Is Gegangn 2.27
06. Inter A Klein Beimale 2.21
07. Di Warnicikes 2.24
08. Ein Mul Ti Ich Si Banalen 2.42
09. Lomir Singen Ciri Bim, Ciri Bom 2.43
10. Wus Dergeisti Mir Di Lurn 3.22
11. Oi Awram 1.16
12. Di Mame Kocht Warenikes 1.43
13. Mamenlu, Liubeniu 3.53
14. Mit A Nudl Un A Nudl 2.17
15. Asoj Wie-s Is Bitter 2.40
16. Bin Ich Mir A Schneiderl 1.25
17. Meheteineste Meine 2.29
18. Wus-Je Wilsti? 2.13