Celebration Music

Klezmer Music for String Quartet & Clarinet

Muir String Quartet
Alexander Fiterstein clarinet

Release Date: December 9, 2022
Catalog #: BR8974
Format: Digital
21st Century
Chamber
Cello
Clarinet
Violin

A signature sound deeply rooted in the Jewish tradition, the buoyant and soothing nature of Klezmer music speaks in a new tone in CELEBRATION MUSIC from Big Round Records. With pieces selected by renowned clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein and arranged for clarinet and string quartet by Lev Ljova, Fiterstein and the critically acclaimed Muir String Quartet deftly handle the genre with passion and unbridled musicality, navigating both relaxing and exhilarating up-tempo passages with dynamism and verve. Historically performed by klezmer bands for major Jewish life events and celebrations in Eastern Europe and New York City, the style remains alive and well in this modern setting, arranged for the concert stage where audiences can enjoy its timeless, uplifting qualities.

Listen

Hear a preview of the album

Stream/Buy

Choose your platform

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 Zaydn’s Tants arr. Lev Ljova Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Muir String Quartet | Peter Zazofsky, violin; Lucia Lin, violin; Steven Ansell, cello; Michael Reynolds, cello 2:06
02 Firn di Mekhutonim Aheym arr. Lev Ljova Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Muir String Quartet | Peter Zazofsky, violin; Lucia Lin, violin; Steven Ansell, cello; Michael Reynolds, cello 3:37
03 Tants a Freilach arr. Lev Ljova Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Muir String Quartet | Peter Zazofsky, violin; Lucia Lin, violin; Steven Ansell, cello; Michael Reynolds, cello 2:22
04 Zoghets and Freilach arr. Lev Ljova Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Muir String Quartet | Peter Zazofsky, violin; Lucia Lin, violin; Steven Ansell, cello; Michael Reynolds, cello 5:07
05 Kiever Sher arr. Lev Ljova Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Muir String Quartet | Peter Zazofsky, violin; Lucia Lin, violin; Steven Ansell, cello; Michael Reynolds, cello 2:47
06 Nign No. 72 arr. Lev Ljova Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Muir String Quartet | Peter Zazofsky, violin; Lucia Lin, violin; Steven Ansell, cello; Michael Reynolds, cello 4:27
07 Nifty’s Freilach arr. Lev Ljova Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Muir String Quartet | Peter Zazofsky, violin; Lucia Lin, violin; Steven Ansell, cello; Michael Reynolds, cello 2:26
08 Sirba arr. Lev Ljova Alexander Fiterstein, clarinet; Muir String Quartet | Peter Zazofsky, violin; Lucia Lin, violin; Steven Ansell, cello; Michael Reynolds, cello 2:18

Recorded June 11-13, 2018 at The First Church in Belmont MA
Producer and Engineer Brad Michel

© 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Marc Chagall, “Les mariés de la Tour Eiffel,” 1938 – 1939

Executive Producer Bob Lord

A&R Director Brandon MacNeil

VP of Production Jan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Patrick Niland, Aidan Curran

Artist Information

Muir String Quartet

Ensemble

The Muir String Quartet has long been acknowledged as one of the world’s most powerful and insightful ensembles, distinguishing itself among audiences and critics with its “exhilarating involvement” (Boston Globe), “impeccable voicing and intonation” (San Francisco Examiner) and “unbridled musicality” (American Record Guide).

​​Winner of the 1981 Naumburg Chamber Music Award and 1980 Evian International String Quartet Competition, the Muir String Quartet first appeared on the scene in 1980, and was greeted with rave reviews and an extensive feature in The New Yorker. The quartet was also featured on the internationally acclaimed PBS broadcast, In Performance at the White House for President and Mrs. Reagan. Formed in 1979 following graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, the Muir String Quartet’s principal chamber music teachers were Felix Galimir and members of the Guarneri and Budapest Quartets.

Learn More

Alexander Fiterstein

Clarinetist

Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein is considered one of today’s most exceptional artists. Fiterstein has performed in recitals, with distinguished orchestras, and with chamber music ensembles throughout the world. He won first prize at the Carl Nielsen International Clarinet Competition and received the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant Award. The Washington Post has described his playing as “dazzling in its spectrum of colors, agility, and range. Every sound he makes is finely measured without inhibiting expressiveness” and The New York Times described him as “a clarinetist with a warm tone and powerful technique.”

As a soloist he has appeared with the Czech, Israel, Vienna, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestras, Belgrade Philharmonic, Danish National Radio Symphony, Tokyo Philharmonic, China National Symphony Orchestra, KBS Orchestra of South Korea, Jerusalem Symphony, Orchestra of St. Luke’s at Lincoln Center, Kansas City Symphony, and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. He has performed in recital on the Music at the Supreme Court Series, the Celebrity Series in Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Kennedy Center, the Louvre in Paris, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Tel Aviv Museum, and NYC’s 92d Street Y.

A dedicated performer of chamber music, Fiterstein frequently collaborates with distinguished artists and ensembles and regularly performs with the prestigious Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Among the highly regarded artists he has performed with are Daniel Barenboim, Yefim Bronfman, Mitsuko Uchida, Richard Goode, Emanuel Ax, Marc-Andre Hamelin, Pinchas Zukerman, and Steven Isserlis. Fiterstein performed with the Dover, Pacifica, Jerusalem, and Shanghai String Quartets as well as with Ensemble Wien-Berlin. He spent five summers at the Marlboro Music Festival and appeared at the Caramoor, Moab, Music@Menlo, Montreal, Toronto, Jerusalem, and Storioni Chamber Music Festivals.

Fiterstein is a founder of the Zimro Project, a unique ensemble dedicated to incorporating Jewish art music into chamber music programs. He performed as principal clarinet of the West-East Divan Orchestra at the invitation of Daniel Barenboim and has appeared as guest principal clarinet with the Israel Philharmonic with Zubin Mehta, KBS Orchestra with Yoel Levi, and with the St. Paul and Orpheus Chamber Orchestras.

Fiterstein has a prolific recording career and has worked with composers John Corigliano and Osvaldo Golijov, and had pieces written for him by Samuel Adler, Mason Bates, Paul Schoenfield, and Chris Brubeck, among others. Fiterstein was born in Belarus and immigrated to Israel at the age of 2 with his family. A Juilliard graduate, he won first prize at the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and received awards from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He is currently Professor of Clarinet and Chair of Winds at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Fiterstein is a Buffet Crampon and Vandoren Performing Artist. 

Notes

The Klezmer pieces on this album were selected by Alexander Fiterstein and arranged for Clarinet and String Quartet by Lev Ljova. Fiterstein was introduced to these melodies by Walter Zev Feldman.

As a founder of The Zimro Project I find that the mission of the original Zimro Ensemble (1918-1921) to commission and perform music inspired by Jewish themes is well represented in this album. Original klezmer music was performed by klezmer bands for major Jewish life events and celebrations in Eastern Europe and New York City, and is now arranged for the concert stage where audiences can enjoy it in a new way.

– Alexander Fiterstein

Funding for this recording was made possible by generous gifts to Classics for Kids Foundation by Lee Freeman and Deon Hilger. Many thanks to them for their support for bringing the gift of music to at-risk kids all around America through CFKF’s matching grant program.