Home / Music / Album Reviews / Sever Ensemble: Rescued Treasure—Live at Gorki Berlin (Piranha Records)

Sever Ensemble: Rescued Treasure—Live at Gorki Berlin (Piranha Records)

Nov. 1, 2016
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The Semer record label was a hotbed for Jewish musicians during Nazi rule, but its music has been lost for more than 60 years. But now that music has been reimagined and rerecorded live at Berlin’s Gorki Theater Studio. The spirit of the label is alive. 

Most songs have only a few instruments on hand, but carry a wealth of feelings, especially when backed up by the impressive vocal performances. Even with minimal understanding of German, Hebrew and Yiddish, you can still feel the emotions behind each song. The album taken as a whole can get a bit repetitive as many of the same thematic notes are hit, but still remains enjoyable throughout. Highlights include “Im Gasthof zur goldenen Schnecke,” a jaunty, fun song whose rhythm and style wouldn’t be out of place in a German beer hall, and “Lebka fährt nach Amerika,” which deftly switches between somber and melancholic, and driving and determined. 

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