The Jewish Musical Folklore in Julius Engel Recording
J.Engel (1868-1927) - composer, musical critic and the publisher - was one of the recognized leaders of the Jewish musical revival in Russia of the 20th century beginning. Ability to think conceptually, encyclopedic education, uncommon talent of the organizer have distinguished him from a pleiad of modern to him representatives of the Jewish musical intelligence Engel. Julius Dmitriyevich was born in Berdyansk. He grad¬uated faculty of law of the Kharkov University in 1890 and music-school (piano department) in 1892. He continued his education at the Moscow Conservatory at the Department of theory and composition of S.Taneyev and M. Ippolitov-lvanov (he graduated in 1897) One of the organizers and teachers of the Popular Conservatory in Moscow (1906-1918). During many years he worked as a musical reviewer in the newspapers “Russkiye vedomosti", Russkaya musikalnaya gazeta", “Musikalny sovremennik" et al. He has known as a leading musical critic of Russia. The editor and the author of the Russian edition of “Musical Dictionary" by H.Riman. J.Engel is one of the leaders of the Jewish musical revival in Russia, he was one of the founders of the Petersburg and Moscow Societies of the Jewish music. In 1920-1921 he worked as a teacher and musical instructor in the settlement for the Jewish children-orphans in Malakhovka in the environs of Moscow. In 1922-1924 he lived in Berlin where he directed the Jewish Musical Publishing House "Juwal". In 1924 he migrated to Palestine where he was occupied with creative, educa¬tional and pedagogical work (he teached at the musical School “Shulamit" in Tel Aviv). An author of music to the performance "Dibuk" to a play by S.An-sky. a number of romances on verses of H.N.Byalik. S. Chemikhovsky, A.Hameiri, Elisheva. A.Shlensky, many piano pieces on the Jewish themes.

In 1890ies, when being a student of the Moscow conservatory J.Engel was under influence of popular ideas and sentiments, dominated in “Zakharinka’ - a circle of young Jewish intellectual elite known in Moscow. The awakening of interest to native culture, language, history of the Jewish people became later for J.Engel a pulse to creation of the logically verified concept of construction of independent Jewish national school in music.

The way to its creation was not rapid. The staging of an opera “Esther", carried out on the J.Engel initiative by forces “Zakharinka-members” one of the Purim eve of 1894 was like “a moment of the birth of an idea" A.D.Idelson, future known publicist and public figure, and in that time one of the spiritual leaders of “Zakharinka", the co-author of J.Engel on the opera's libretto, has considered very seriously this event and later recommended to S.Hinsburg and P.Marek to address to J.Engel for musical edition of the first fundamental anthology “The Jewish national songs in Russia’ (S.Pb, 1901; further - Hinsburg-Marek). J.Engel recollects: ’Once <...> Marek offers me the following. The editorial board o “Voskhod" wants to issue the collection of the Jewish folk songs collect ed by Marek and Hinsburg. Could I edit the melodies sent sometimes together with the text, may be it will be possible to issue them as we . I, certainly, have agreed. It turned out. however, that the musical records almost all were made by unskibful hands, so not always it was possible to establish even an approximate sense of them. To issue such melodies it was impossible. But some material, namely the melodies to the texts - they have given. And when to this new material I have added the old one accumulated at me - mainly, nihunim without words (Hasidic tunes), nihunim klezmersky. and also melodies with the texts -1 have seen, that there is a cause for thinking and informing ideas, there is what to show" (Institute of the Manuscript of Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine. F. 190. No. 263. P. 5; further references to this source - IM VNLU).

It is doubtless, under “the accumulated old material" it is necessary to understand records from a unique music notebooks of J.Engel, dated 1898, which is stored now at the Institute of the Manuscript of Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine in Kyiv (F. 190. No 139). These records were executed by the researcher in Ukraine, in Podillya borough Tomashpil from Leib Kosaschner and Konstantin Heifetz. A little bit later sketches to the collection of Hinsburg and Marek considerably have filled up the contents of a notebook.

The notebook of J.Engel is the first evidence on the beginning of regular work in the sphere of the Jewish musical folklore. On the basis of J.Engel records we have an opportunity partially to restore melodies to the collection of Hinsburg and Marek, which as a matter of fact repre¬sents the systematized collection of song texts stated in Yiddish in two variants - in the traditional Jewish alphabet and in a Latin transliteration.

As original presentation of the Hinsburg and Marek collection became the first concert of the Jewish folk music held on November 30, 1900 in the Moscow Imperial Society of the amateurs of Natural Sciences, Anthropology and Ethnography. In it J.Engel has made a report devoted to the musical characteristic of the Jewish folk songs. As illustrations sounded the treatments of the Jewish national melodies executed by him.

From this moment J.Engel works already systematically in the sphere popularization of the Jewish music. In various cities of Russia he with a team of the actors-enthusiasts appears with lectures-concerts. With his active assistance in 1908 was organized the Petersburg Society of the Jewish folk music. In numerous papers is polished the style of J.Engel - scientist and musical publicist.

Quite in spirit of advanced ideas of the time J.Engel lays dov/n a program of the Jewish musical revival including the following directions:
1)collection and research of folk songs (way of the Jewish musi¬cal self-knowledge);

2)artistic treatment of the Jewish folk songs, introduction of them in modern musical-cultural use (way of the Jewish musical self¬development).
3)independent musical creative work in folk spirit, creation in this direction of completely new artistic values (way of the Jewish musical self-determination).
At creation of own vocal and instrumental miniatures the composer fre¬quently addressed to music notebooks as to the primary source. Music on folk themes J.Engel wrote, not only obeying inspiration, warmed up with love to native folklore, - equally his creative work was prompted by conscious aspiration to introduce in practice his theoretical ideas.
J.Engel's miniatures represent treatments of a folklore material and executed with delicate taste wholly immersed in an atmosphere of classical European harmony. On a recognition of the composer, such "pieces for hearing" he wrote with account on the certain audience, which consisted usually of the representatives of assimilated Jewish intelligency not enough familiar with traditions of its people. In 1912 (July-August) J.Engel took part in the first Jewish ethnographic expedi¬tion. which initiator and leader was a known folklorist and writer S.A.An- sky1. In the report about the ethnographic trip7 J.Engel mentions the names of boroughs of Kyiv province, which he managed to visit: Ruzhin, Skvira, Pavoloch, Polonne.

The main working duties of J.Engel included recording on the phono¬graph of religious chants. Chassidic tunes, Jewish folk songs. However by using the phonograph the folklorist has faced the certain difficulties caused by conservatism of views of the Jewish population in boroughs. Concerning his stay in Pavoloch, a borough near Ruzhin. J.Engel writes: “Women (...) neither young, nor old, did not want to sing in no way. They promised, but did not come, and when I offered to come to them with a phonograph, even the factory working women shirked.

“Why?", - I asked. “Me shemt zikh“. - it is a shame " (IM VNLU. F.190 No 266. P. 12).
In Skvira, in the recent past a famous residence of Skvira tsadiks. the record of songs was organized very well. The enormous help to the collectors was rendered by the local intelligency. The sessions of record were held in the hotel, where the participants of expedition have stopped, and also in one of local Jewish schools after lessons. In the performers contingent mainly were representatives of the lowest and average social estates: workers, bakers, tailors, salesmen, small merchants.

In the trip report written in a manner of travel notes, J.Engel with subtle sense of humour describes unusual of a working atmosphere, in which it was necessary to be immersed to the researchers. About recording nursery rhymes in Ruzhin he informs: “The attitude to us at first was not very trustful and in this we and were guilt partly because of our inexperience. We have entered into the friendly intercourse with children since the first day of arrival wrote down from them fairy tales, songs etc. They received for each turn a five-copeck coin and by the end almost all children's population of Ruzhin has ceased to go to heder and since morning besieged our working place. Some tried to make up fairy tales most book, others tried to recollect, all of them were very excited. Besides it was terribly disturbing, it injured us in the eyes of the old men <...> (But An-sky with his respectable air. observance of rites and ability to speak with the old men here, as well as everywhere afterwards, has manage

to correct things. I do not speak about myself. Besides I was speaking Yiddish bad, I filled with mistrust the old men already by my shaved appearance. But after An-sky it was easier for me to gain the necessary ‘ (ibid. P. 10).

J.Engel informs as well, that he managed to write down a great number of the Jewish instrumental melodies from a native clarinettist Hochberg. From him and from other musician N.Rabinovich has heard J.Engel a number of legends about ingenious Berdichiv klesmer, violinist Pedozer. Some Pedozer*s manuscripts with records of his concert violin compo¬sitions J.Engel has got to archive of expedition. J.Engel has stayed on his trip a little more than a month. The participation in expedition became an emotional shock for the researcher. Under personal observations and impressions from this trip a lot of years after J.Engel has written music to a Hasidic drama “Dibuk" of S.An-sky. After departure of J.Engel “the execution of recording on the phonograph of tunes and songs " (IM VNLU. F. 339. No 951. P.1) has passed in hands of the leader of an expedition S.An-sky. With approach of religious autumn holidays - from beginning of a New year (Rosh ha-Shana) and till the Day of Expiation (Yom Kippur) - in the work of expedition was made the fortnight break. S.An-sky has returned for some time to St. Petersburg for introducing proper order in numerous working records and passing to J.Engel a collection of phonograph cylinders for decoding.

Some part of this collection was kept in personal archive of J.Engel and in 1930 has filled up the phonoarchive of the Institute of the Jewish culture in Kyiv3. Now the given phonoarchive is in the fund of the IM of VNLU. In all on 29 phonocylinders of J.Engel are contained 44 records.

22 phonocylinders are accompanied by the notes about a place of fixing of a material: 10 were written down in Ruzhin (and in vicinities), 12 - in Skvira. The records from Ruzhin and Skvira differ on the character of a * material. In the 19* century the borough Ruzhin was a residence of a famous Ruzhin-Sadagora of thadiks, and consequently in a genre palette of records from this borough prevail the tunes without words, ^ Hasidic celebratory drinking-table songs, songs eulogizing the power of thadiks, pray. On the CD are also given samples of the pieces from the wedding repertoir of klezmers - Jewish folk musicians.

In Skvira records prevail secular Jewish folk songs: songs of the handicraftsmen - tailors (MOt azoy neyt a shnayder"), bakers (“Ven Got hot di velt gevolt bashafn"), about a hard female destiny (‘Der lomp vert far- loshn"), lullabys. songs of beggars etc. These songs represent illustrations of everyday life of Jewish boroughs, they frequently accompany various on emotional filling with everyday situations. However the religious component is significant in records from Skvira. On phonocylinders are given the tunes without words and rare patterns of individual j prays in Yiddish being the special version of religious - national songs.

In prays in Yiddish was embodied the human aspiration to express and to bring up to the Most High their feelings and emotional experiences in the most accessible and clear form - in language of daily dialogue. The famous Chassidic authorities (for example, rabbis Leivi Izchok Berdichevsky, Nachman from Brazlau, Shneur Salman from Lyad) cultivated such meditations going “from heart to heart", and composed songs on a simple dialect, texts and melodies of which were canonized with course of time.

The prays Leivi Izchok Berdichevsky are an original exception in a line of similar meditations. They represent conversations with God-mono¬logues addressed to the Most High constructed on the basis of sincere dialogue, not forged together by dogmas. The tune of expiation, char¬acteristic for a holiday Yom-Kipur, is clearly heard in a song - pray “Judgement of Berdichev rabby", presented on the given compact disc: “The Lord of the Universe, I want to exchange with you, my Father. You will ask me, what I want from you - I shall tell, my Father. You will ask me, what shall I give you -I shall answer you -, Father: my sins. You will ask, what I still want - I shall answer, Father: forgiveness, absolution".

The records presented on the given compact disc, reflect the very sig¬nificant part of J.Engel activity, which he has designated as “a way of Jewish musical self-knowledge" - the base one for creation of the Jewish national composer school. Unfortunately, the items of information on writing down the Jewish melodies by J.Engel after 1912 are not present. Let's note, that “the folklore archive" of the composer is only a part of that contribution, which he has made to development of the Jewish professional music. His many ideas the concerning judgement of historical prospects of development of the Jewish art, had enormous influence on formation of creative world outlook of young Jewish musical elite. To J.Engel belongs remarkable laconic formula carried out by a pencil on the margins of one of his works: “The Jewish folk music is the Jewish national music’, that is such a music which can enrich by its achievements not only the Jewish, but also the world art as dreamed the scientist.


1An-sky, Semen Akimovich (pen-name; real name - Shlomo Zangvie Rappoport; 1863, Chashniki of Vitebsk province, - 1920, Warsaw) - a writer and ethnographer of Eastern Europe Jews. In 1912-1914 he was a leader of an ethnographic expedition of the Petersburg Jewish Historical-Ethnographic Society organized on the means of baron V.G.Hinzburg. Collected in Podillya and Volyn great folklore material (folk legends, hasidic traditions) was used as a basis of many stories and dramatic works by S.An-sky.
2J.Engel. Jewish folk song. Ethnographic trip in summer 1912. IM VNLU, F. 190, No. 266. The report was read on the 8th of November 1915 at the Society of the Jewish Folk Music in Petersburg.
3M. Beregovsky, head of the study for musical folklore at the ethno¬graphic section of the Institute (then - study) of the Jewish Proletarian Culture at the AS of Ukraine (1929-1949), wrote in his notes to the introduction of his 1st book "Jewish Musical Folklore": “Phonogram collection by J.D.Engel consisting of 29 phonograph cylinders recorded by Engel in 1912 during his musical-folklore expedition throw Volyn together with S.An-sky was passed to the study for musical folklore in February 1930 by the daughter of the late composer A.J.Engel" (M. Beregovsky. Jewish musical folklore. M„ 1934. P.28 (in Russian)).


Text Transliterations

Gabe. vos vil der rebe?
Gey, zog der rebetsn <...> fish,
Vorem der oylem zitst dokh shoyn bam tish.
Oy. <...> oyneg shabes, bom, tayneg shabes bimbom,
Oyneg shabes, tayneg shabes, der heyliker bimbombom, Oyneg shabes, tayneg shabes. der heyliker bimbombom.
Gabe, what wishes rabby?
Go, tell rebetsn (to serve] fish,
Because already all are sitting at the table.
Oh <...>, Saturday paradise, bom, Saturday pleasure bim-bom. Saturday paradise, Saturday pleasure, sacred bim-bom-bom, Saturday paradise, Saturday pleasure, sacred bim-bom-bom.

Baleboste zisinke, zisinke, zisinke, zisinke baleboste!
Baleboste zisinke, zisinke, zisinke baleboste!
Balebostinke zisinke, balebostinke zisinke,
Zisinke, zisinke baleboste.
Balebostinke zisinke. zisinke baleboste.
Balebostinke, zisinke zemelekh!
Sweet mistress, sweet mistress! Sweet mistress, sweet buns!

Ot azoy neyt a shnayder,
Ot azoy varft er shtekh.
Ot azoy neyt a shnayder,
Ot azoy varft er shtekh.
A shnayder neyt un neyt un neyt Un hot kadokhes, nit keyn breyt.
So the tailor sews, so he makes seams.
So the tailor sews, so he makes seams.
The tailor sews, sews and sews, and has a fever, but not bread.