A growing collection of in-depth interviews with people of all ages and backgrounds, whose stories about the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture offer a rich and complex chronicle of Jewish identity.
Early Recordings of Modzitzer Hasidic Nigunim
Velvel Pasternak, z"l, musicologist and major publisher of Jewish music, talks about some of his early work recording nigunim (traditional wordless melodies) of the Modzitz hasidic dynasty and gives insight into how songs become part of the Jewish repertoire.
This is an excerpt from an oral history with Velvel Pasternak.
This excerpt is in English.
Velvel Pasternak was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 1933. Velvel, z"l, died in 2019.
This interview is part of the Yiddish and the Arts: musicians, actors, and artists series.
Other video highlights from this oral history
Early Recordings of Modzitzer Hasidic Nigunim2 minutes 17 seconds
"But it Had the Pathos": Difficulties of Recording with Hasidic Singers4 minutes 24 seconds
Why I Got Kicked Out of Kindergarten: Yiddish in My Childhood1 minute 22 seconds
"I Want to Hear it in the Raw": Working With Vladimir Heifetz3 minutes 50 seconds
Modzitzer Marches Now Used in the Israeli Army1 minute 28 seconds
Somebody Must Need This Stuff3 minutes 19 seconds
Why It Was Forbidden to Record Nigunim1 minute 36 seconds
About the Wexler Oral History Project
Since 2010, the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project has recorded more than 500 in-depth video interviews that provide a deeper understanding of the Jewish experience and the legacy and changing nature of Yiddish language and culture.
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