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The Music


Fialke takes its audience along on a musical trip into the Jewish Eastern Europe of around 1900 where the listeners will then find themselves in the middle of a frolicsome wedding party.

The two fiddles of Mark Kovnatskiy and Monika sing in competition with each other and the accordion, every instrument playing its own variation of the melody. All the while the bass is mixing in again and again, neglecting its harmonizing duties for moments - it's an intended chaos, a heterophony which is the source of the pristine charm of the music. Joie de vivre in Yiddish is flowing far beyond the Western major key!

In between all that the charming voice of Monika Feil with songs telling of the good and bad times of human life, and especially, of course, of love and passion.

Fialke attracts attention through absolute mastery of the old Yiddish style. With a mix of traditional and original pieces they present a rough archaic Klezmer that moves the heart and makes the legs move, too.

Since its founding in 1998 the quartet has achieved a solid position in the German klezmer scene. In May 2003 they issued their first CD, "a grus fun der alter heym" ("Greetings from the Old Homeland"), together with California based guest musician Joshua Horowitz, acclaimed klezmer accordion and tsimbl virtuoso (member of Budowitz and Veretski Pass) as well as one of the leading musicologists and researchers in the field of Jewish music.

Fialke can be booked for concerts and cultural events as well as for weddings, birthday parties, Bar Mitsvahs and other festivities. The repertoire ranges from sweeping dances over quiet pieces and improvisations to Yiddish songs.

Klezmer music is Yiddish music, that means the music of the Yiddish speaking Jews that originally lived in Eastern Europe. In Yiddish the musician is called a "klezmer". The Klezmorim played mostly at weddings, but also other festivities. They not only played for dancing, the music also had ritual functions and was played for listening to while seated at the table as well as for escorting important guests to the wedding and back home again. The musicians were integrated into the ceremonies from beginning to end - and that could last up to several days.

With the emigration and expulsion of so many Eastern European Jews that had started in the second half of the 19th century Yiddish Music found its way into many countries all over the world, especially to America. There it developed, influenced by the popular music of the time. In the 1920ies it had a flowering in America. The 80ies brought a revival of Klezmer Music, starting in the US where the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the immigrants rediscovered the music and made it their own. By the way: the term "Klezmer Music" - defining a particular music style - exists only since that time.

Yiddish songs derive themselves from the every day life of the people and tell stories of love and pain, of family and children, of oppression, work, social and political conditions as well as of joy and celebration. With the foundation of the Yiddish Theater in the middle of the 19th century Yiddish Songs were first brought to the stage, but itís only since the beginning of the Klezmer revival that they are performed together with the Yiddish instrumental Music by the same musicians on the same stage.

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