Thursday, September 16, 2010

Effi Netzer's Hava Nagila

   Effi Netzer is popular and highly esteemed person in Israeli music. Working as a composer, arranger, and animator of musical culture he was probably the first who brough the custom of sing-along events to Israel. This is why he and his accordion became a kind of symbol of popular culture of the State of Israel. He is also known as founder of Beit Rothschild Singers. With this group and his band he recorded a great bunch of traditional Jewish songs. Most of them are wide known and sometimes almost iconic for people who don’t have closer connections to the heritage of Jewish culture.
   Shortly before the end of 80’s Poljazz, the label of Polish Jazz Society published Hava Nagila – the choice of popular Jewish songs signed by Effi Netzer & Beit Rotschild & Band. It was licensed edition of the record originally published in Israel by Hataklit Haifa Production. And once again musician with accordion made great work for popularity of Jewish song – this time in Poland. It was one of very first Hebrew recordings in post-war Central Europe. In moment of rapidly changing perspectives this was crucial for those who after long decades of ideologically based internationalism were asking about their roots.

Effi Netzer's Hava Nagila

   Program of the record is 16 songs and dances from various Diaspora traditions. First positions of the both sides are occupied by traditional songs Hava Nagila and Hevenu Shalom Aleichem. Worked out in manner of popular songs, but arranged for mixed choir and small accompanying group, melodies collected in this plate show many influences which are representative for early culture of State of Israel. In many dances the direct connection to local traditions can by traced. Krakoviyak, Hava Netze Bemachol or Korovushka are inspired by folklore of Slavonic countries, Debka Haabir exposes Arabian culture connections, Horrah Nirkoda comes directly from Romanian Round Dance. There are also straightforward connections with kibbutz folk culture. Three songs are own compositions by Effi Netzer.

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