Label: Renair Records
Julian Futter and Mike Aylward together with Renair Records are proud to announce the launch of a new album -- Wandering Stars, the story of Gimpel's Lemberg Yiddish Theater. In 1900, Lemberg was one of the most important cities in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, with a population of 160,000, of whom a third were Jewish. The Lemberg theater was the first permanent and most important Yiddish theater in Europe. Leading Yiddish author Sholem Aleichem visited in 1905 and based his novel Wandering Stars on his experiences there. In 1910, Franz Kafka was profoundly affected when he saw members of the troupe perform in Prague. Joseph Roth and Mark Chagall were hugely influenced by what they saw as well. The theater gave birth to a unique form of musical drama that to a significant extent shaped popular American culture. Thanks to the efforts of a small band of record collectors and discographers operating worldwide, many of these records have been documented and copies located to make it possible for the first time in over 100 years to give a voice to this silenced civilization, whose destruction has been rigorously documented, but whose achievements have so far been largely unexplored. Listen to songs about weddings, wild women, drinking, the original "Yidl mit sein Fidl," a Hatikvah recorded in 1909, an out-of-control Simchas Torah and, of course, sex. The recordings are accompanied by a richly illustrated, full-color, 40-page booklet which places the theater in its historical context, provides full biographies of the artists and detailed information on all the recordings.