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Joseph Rumshinsky (18811956)

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« on: May 28, 2018, 09:09:56 pm »

Joseph Rumshinsky (18811956) was a Jewish composer born near Vilnius, Lithuania (then part of Russian Poland). Along with Sholom Secunda, Alexander Olshanetsky and Abraham Ellstein, he is considered one of the "big four" composers and conductors of American Yiddish theater.

His music is more like operetta or maybe music hall, though it's certainly melodic and harmonic and far from atonal. There's a Naxos CD of his music called "GREAT SONGS OF THE YIDDISH STAGE, VOL. 3".  It's unmistakably Yiddish and Jewish in style throughout.  My favourite is the aria "Der rebetsn's tokhter (The Rabbi's Wife's Daughter): Hamavdil" - very operatic and dramatic.   There's another version of it on youtube here - - though it's not as good.

He wrote an operetta The Golden Bride (Die Goldene Kale)  It looks like it was recently performed as on youtube there are two very high-quality clips of excerpts:
   (3:09-3:34 of this clip hints at a very beautiful aria)

This performance was by the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NY ( and I am trying to find out from them if there is a complete recording - if anyone else knows anything I would be very grateful!

(Rumshinky is one of the composers referenced in the ""Tchaikovsky (and other Russians)" song by Gershwin.)

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