Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Adir Hu in the traditional method..."

That is how my grandfather, Bernard "Barney" Klepper, z"l, introduces the Pesach melody taught to him by his Romanian grandfather 100 years ago, on a scratchy old record that floated around my extended family for years until I found out about it and got a taped copy.  (I'm told the original disc no longer exists.) Every time I hear NPR's 'Lost and Found Sound'  I think this recording would be perfect for it.  The story: in 1942 my grandfather and his three siblings sat around a microphone and recorded their favorite seder songs, including the gypsy-klezmer inflected Adir Hu and the equally infectious Chad Gadya.  No one's quite sure how the recording session came about, and that generation is gone, but there is something both spooky and comforting about hearing the voices of your ancestors from beyond the grave. The complete 12 minute recording can be found here.

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