Monday, October 30, 2006

From the mailbag...

Ron Orenstein writes:
Back on August 20, 2006, you received an email regarding Tikva Records:

Alexander Feldman writes from Brazil:
I am a brazilian jewish, born by 1955 in Niteroi city (close to Rio de Janeiro city). When I was a teen-ager, my grandmother travelled to the USA, to see her long time no-seen brother. When she returned, brought a full bag of yiddish music LP vinyls. One of them was from Tikva Records: "Marty Levytt - Party Memories". I have it until today.

The remarkable fact is that there is NO street address, no PO Box, nothing that allow anyone to contact the label's office (there should be one, of course!). At that time, I payed no attention to this. But now, trying to find more Tikva recordings, I noticed the problem.

Did you find any new information about? If so, please let me know.

And here is my response:

Tikva Records released vinyl out of various office locations in New York from the early Fifties to the mid-Seventies, including 78s, 10" 33rpm and LPs. About 150 releases covered Cantorial, Yiddish, Israeli Folk/Folk Dance and others. All but 2 or 3 were of Jewish or Hebrew interest. Tikva went out of business sometime around 1976. See the webpage: Tikva Records-Jewish Music Mystery?

Ron Orenstein
Yitz writes:
Catching up on your blog I noticed this:
Shalom writes:
Quoting Krum as a Bagel, you wrote:

"Inevitably, the token Sefardi guy in the shul will be moved to sing "Ein Adir" in a ridiculously overdone nasal-y voice (etc.)"

You know what makes it even worse? Despite popular belief, "Ein Adir" isn't even of Sefardic origin to start with!

The composer of this piyut was Rabbi Yisroel Hapstein, better known as the Kozhnitzer Maggid. This doesn't sound like a Sefardi name to me...
A friend of mine e-mailed me about this during Chol HaMoed as well. We were both wondering how the only known tune these words, composed by one of the great Chassidic masters, seems to be Sephardic.
I speculated that the words came from Eastern Europe to Eretz Yisrael at some point of Chassidic aliya, and the Sefardim made a tune for it. But it still seems strange that there's no known Chassidic melody for it.

Do you have any ideas about this?
I don't have much information on this. I have noticed that the Sephardic version of the tune has a different melody for the "Mipi keil" chorus rather than the one sung in Ashkenazic communities. I suspect that the Ashkenaz version is a corruption of the Sephardic version, but I have no information about where either melody comes from.