Di Fidl-Kapelye / Live in Amsterdam

Review by Günther Schöller

nicely done

Di Fidl-Kapelye
Live in Amsterdam


Di Fidl-Kapelye has released their first album "Live in Amsterdam" and it's as good as I expected it to be, after having heard them perform in Weimar, Germany, in the last years at the annual Klezmer festival. They really mastered the old fidl-style very well and did a great job in recording some rare and beautiful pieces of the klezmer repertoire. Their sound is rich and grounded, yet fresh and moving forward.

The fact, that they have two violins in the group doesn't mean, that one is playing lead and the other one sekund all the time. Their arrangements vary from piece to piece. Sometimes the whole group plays unison, like in the zemerl "Asher Nosam Lonu Toyres Emes," known from the repertoire of Leon Schwartz. Or they all play in heterophony, like in the beautiful rendition of the Tarras tune "Sha, Sha, Di Shviger Kumt." Simply amazing is their version of "Haneros Halelu," with only the two violins playing melody back and forth and then going over to a gorgeous version of "Khasin U Rabina," with the beginning never played so nice since Rubin & Horowitz. Both Madelien and Jiska, the two girls who play fidl in this group have become really good in mastering the old style, like said above.

Not to forget the other members of Di Fidl-Kapelye: Pit, tsimblist of the group, has some great solos like in "Hot a Jid a Weybele" and is bringing in her knowledge of rumanian lautari music in pieces like "Sarba," which works great. Djoeke's lively cello starts the first piece and the whole CD. She has a difficult task with the cello, because she must not interfere with the double bass' line of Gregor. But she manages this task very well and creates nice fill lines with parts of the melody. She's also featured with a piece written by her own. Last but not least is Gregor, who plays double bass and oud. The sound of the oud in combination with this music style is something one has to get used to, but it works most of the time. Especially nice is the piece "Dreylechs," which he composed.

The only piece I can't get used to is the last one, a schmaltzy instrumental version of "Di Zun Vet Aruntergeyn." It's not that it is not played well, but it doesn't fit on this CD, according to my humble opinion.

But overall, this is a remarkable debut coming to us from Amsterdam, which was, as far as I know, a center in the Ashkenaz world.

Review by Günther Schöller, 13 Apr 2005, posted to the Jewish-Music mailing list and reproduced here with the author's permission.

Personnel this recording:
Madelien Verheij: violin
Jiska ter Bals: violin
Pit Hermans: cimbalom
Djoeke Klijzing: cello
Gregor Schaefer: double bass, oud


  1. Europeïsche lolomeika (trad., arr. DFK) 2:52
  2. Sha sha di shviger kumt (trad., arr. DFK) 4:29
  3. Hat a jid a weybele (trad., arr. DFK) 2:02
  4. Asher nosam lonu toyres emes/yoym hashabes (trad., arr. DFK) 6:06
  5. Sarba (trad., arr. DFK) 2:19
  6. Doina/freylekhs (trad., arr. DFK) 4:05
  7. Hora djoeke (Djoeke Klizing) 3:23
  8. Rumeinishe fantasie no 2 (trad., arr. ter Bals) 3:59
  9. Ukrainian kolomeike (trad/comp. Gregor Schaefer) 4:13
  10. Bughici's terkisher/bulgar (trad., arr. DFK) 6:36
  11. Dreylechs/freylakhs (trad/Gregor Schaefer) 4:10
  12. Haneros halelu/Khasin u rabina (trad., arr. ter Bals, Verheij) 4:40
  13. Yiddishe honga/tartarisher longa (trad., arr. DFK) 3:12
  14. Ahava rabo/Tayere odessa/Tsum Badekns (trad., arr. Madelien Verheij) 4:24
  15. Di zun vet aruntergeyn (music: B. Yomen; arr. T. Erlenbusch) 3:51

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