‘A CD in the Yiddish language, another one in German. Some songs are recorded on both, and thus in both languages. Many of the songs appear on one or the other record. I have always wanted to publish them for posterity in my way, and this year I finally succeeded! Since 1988 I have performed most of them on stage with Götz Lindenberg. With Daniel’s violin, I knew that I had now found the “missing link”. It should have sounded like this all through the years. Although we grew up so far apart – in Sydney and Berlin – we play and sing as though we had grown up together! It is the old European culture that unites us: the longing and loss felt in Jewish families who had escaped to Australia joins with shock and loss in my own family in Berlin. World War Two is still very present, the Shoah determines our thinking… no! Our feeling! We both look for lost treasures and new thoughts. We found them in old Yiddish folk songs, in many songs by Georg Kreisler, in the beautiful Hebrew songs from Israel’s pioneer days and in the simple love songs in both languages.’
Bertolt Karsten Troyke – June 2015
vocals: Karsten Troyke
violin: Daniel Weltlinger
piano: Götz Lindenberg
guest violin: Andrej Sur (tracks 1, 7)
guest vocals: Chawa Kahane (track 10)
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Bertolt Fenko, Studio Zauberton
Photos: Jens Peter-Kruse, Bertolt Fenko, Toofan Hashemi
Liner notes: Bertolt Fenko and Daniel Weltlinger
Production: Karsten Troyke 2015
1 Budapesht (feat. Andrej Sur) – 3:46
2 A Khulim – 2:40
3 Zol Zayn – 2:34
4 Rayzele – 3:01
5 A Maase – 3:12
6 Ikh Bin Der Veg Kayn Maarev – 2:23
7 Brookland (feat. Andrej Sur) – 3:42
8 Leg Dem Kop Af Mayne Kni – 1:59
9 Hakhshara – 4:04
10 Palestine (feat. Chawa Kahane) – 2:27
11 Orkha Bamidbar – 3:27
12 Unter Dayne Vase Shteren – 2:49
13 Adayin Kan – 3:06
14 Bulbes – 3:12
15 Recuerdos – 3:15
16 Erev Ba – 2:43
music: Mihaly Erdalyi / words: anonymous, Sara Bialas-Tenenberg
Budapesht. I have lost my heart in Budapest. This was a song I was taught by Sara Bialas-Tenenberg, originally released on my album “Forgotten Yiddish Songs”. It is a song about love, lost love and the beauty of a Hungarian Gypsy melody. Now – after 25 years – I found the music sheets from 1936 along with the real melody. Violinist Andrej Sur, who recorded with me on the earlier version, joined us again.
2. א חלום
music: Folk song / words: Folk song, topic song
A khulim. A Dream. A Dream of love and black eyes. The newer verses – which I heard on a Barry Sisters recording – are about a dream of peace, and about living grandparents and happy children.
3. זאל זיין
music and words: Josef Papiernikoff
Zol zayn. Maybe that I’m building castles in the air…This has been the unofficial anthem of the Jewish socialist party “Bund” since 1924. The main message of the song is that the “sunny path” (way) one goes is more important than the goal.
music and words: Mordechaj Gebirtig
Rayzele. A conversation between a boy in love with a girl named Rayzele (Rosie). She makes him promise to be more like her mother wishes him to be ie going on Shabbes to “Klayzl” (Synagogue). He agrees so long as he can see her again soon…
As with many of Gebirtig’s songs this was originally written for an amateur stage play, and later became a popular folk song. Gebertig is still remembered to this day as one of the all time greatest Yiddish poets, although he was killed by a German soldier in 1942.
5. א מייַסע
music and words: folk song
A maase. A fairy tale. A sad one about a Jewish king who had a queen. She owned a garden, there was a tree with a branch, and on that branch there sat a bird. The king died, the queen was destroyed, the branch broke, the bird flew away…and I lost a love. Find me a wise man to count my wounds, and get me doctor who can heal my heart.
6. איך בין דער וועג קיין מייַרעוו
music: Karsten Troyke / words: Itzik Manger
Ikh bin der veg kayn maarev. I am the way to the sunset. My friend, don’t follow me. I’m drunk, my beauty is a knife, my longing that of a Gypsy. My hate is a wild rider, killing his own luck…
An instrumental composition by Götz Lindenberg. This was composed after many years accompanying me on the piano, and it used to be the opening theme to my concerts for some 15 years. We asked Andrej Sur – who often played it in the 1990’s – to jump onto this session.
8. לעג דעם קאפ אף מיינע קני
music: Leibl Levin / words: Halper Leyvik
Leg dem kop af mayne kni. Put your head upon my knee. You wept enough. Children can play, but what about the grown ups…
music and words: folk song, Sara Bialas Tenenberg
Hakhshara. “Preparation” – which were agricultural holiday camps similar to kibbutzim, where Zionist youth would learn the technical skills necessary for their emigration to then Palestine. The mother here asks her daughter how it was there. The daughter answers all the questions about work and food and…that she slept in a hay wagon with two guys. The mother’s last question: what does that mean? The daughter’s answer: a new generation of “khalutsim”…I learned that song from Sara Bialas-Tenenberg.
music and words: Folk song, captured by field recordings of Ruth Rubin, completed with melody and another verse I learned from Salomea Genin.
Palestine. It used to be a word of dreams and hope for so many Eastern-European Jews. This song is one of the very early pioneer songs of Israel. Tell me, my sister, what will you do in Palestine? I will plow and sow, I’ll be a proud Jewish girl. These answers I really couldn’t sing like a sister…so thank you so much Chawa Kahane for adding your beautiful voice on this song!
11. ימין ושמאל
music: David Zehavi / lyrics: David Fichman
Yamin Usmol (Orkha Bamidbar). Left and right is sand.
Inspired by a Bedouin song and sung in Hebrew, about the desert and the majesty of a camel caravan.
12. אוטער דיינע ווייסע שטערן
music: Avrom Brudno / words: Avrom Sutskever
Unter dayne vayse shteren. Under your white stars. Oh G-d offer me your white hand, help me out here…a song written in Vilna ghetto in Latvia 1943. Well known Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol included this song in his remarkable theatre play “Ghetto” in the 1980’s.
13. עדיין כּאן
music: Boaz Sharabi / words: Ehud Manor
Adayin Kan. I’m still here. Always here. I heard about a legend. About a new land, and drums and flutes and songs and dreams…I’m here.
music and words: based on a folk song, Benny Bell
Bulbes. Potatoes. In my childhood every meal was made of potatoes. Mashed potatoes, noodles of potatoes, fish with potatoes, milk with potatoes…tshulent with potatoes…it was fine. But I missed a million dollars…
Memories. This is a tango Götz Lindenberg often performed, and was composed by a friend of his from Peru, Francisco Carrion.
16. ערב בא
music: Arie Levanon / words: Oded Avisha
Erev Ba. Evening comes. One of the early Israeli songs, and near forgotten. Again the flocks wander along the village street, the dust rises from sandy paths. And far away the bells merge with the gathering shadows…again the wind whispers amongst the garden fences… in the dark valley the jackal accompanies the approach of night. Night falls.