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  • Print publication year: 2003
  • Online publication date: November 2019

Stanisław Wielanek, Party na Nalewkach

from BOOK REVIEWS

Summary

Tracks: 1. ‘Rebe’, 2. ‘Bajgełe’, 3. ‘Kochaj mnie’, 4. ‘Madagaskar’, 5. ‘Paczka’,

6. ‘Balia’, 7. ‘Dlaczego ja’, 8. ‘12 rodzin’, 9. ‘Sardinenfisz’, 10. ‘Szabasówka’,

11. ‘Mein Jidisze Mame’, 12. ‘Ameryka’, 13. ‘Oj bidy da’, 14. ‘Rebeka’,

15. ‘Kupcie jaja’, 16. ‘Srulek’, 17. ‘Jojne karabin’, 18. ‘Pipek’, 19. ‘Stary Josel’,

20. ‘Dalej Jojne żydowskiego’, 21. ‘Bełz’

No one interested in Stanisław Wielanek's songbook of inter-war hits should miss his recording of Yiddish-tinged ‘oldies’ Party na Nalewkach. Released on vinyl in 1980 and later available on cassette, until recently the album was hard to find in either format. Reportedly, the publisher let it go out of print after receiving complaints from Jewish tourists (apparently a target audience) that songs such as ‘Jojne karabin’ evoked unattractive stereotypes or even summoned up the spectre of the deferential singing and dancing little Jew associated with the term majufes. Whatever the reason for its disappearance, Wielanek's album has now reappeared on CD with a new cover and title (it was first known as Szmonces i Lyrika), and with five new selections added to the earlier version's sixteen. Aficionados of Jewish popular song will find a veritable lost continent of fascinating repertoire attractively arranged and performed by Wielanek and his band, Kapela Warszawska. Something of an archaeologist and troubadour, Wielanek first discovered the genre of szmonces as an ardent collector of musical folklore from Warsaw. The encounter was inevitable, since, as Wielanek says, Jewish songwriters dominated the field of popular music in Poland between the wars. Scholars and performing artists alike should be grateful to him for reviving this repertoire and bringing to light the names of its sadly forgotten creators, both with this CD and with its most useful accompanying book.