Mandy Patinkin / Mamaloshen

Album cover: Mandy, in musical ecstasy, in front of huge US flag

Mandy Patinkin

Nonesuch Records, 79459-2, 1998

Mandy Patinkin's face backgrounded by an American flag has been beaming at me from the Tower Records ad displays on Broadway (East Village) with the English language title Mamaloshen (mother tongue) displayed underneath his estatic bearded punim (face). Patinkin, has brought Yiddish Folk Songs (some of which originated in the Yiddish theater) to Broadway, or is it perhaps the other way around?

The album is a lush, highly orchestrated compilation of Yiddish standards, "Shetele Belz," "Rabbe Elimeylekh," "Yome Yome," sung as if they were on a Broadway stage. The album is also a lush compilation of American standards written by Jews such as "Take Me Out to The Ball Game," "White Christmas" and "Song of the Titanic," rendered perhaps for the first and only time in Yiddish. Irving (a.k.a. Izzy) Berlin's Yiddish roots are being explored here from the inside out in a way which seems devoid of irony.

Patinkin's translations, mentoring, and research were helped by Henry Sapoznik and associated others from the Yiddish musicological scene. Liner notes are both intriguing and non-pompous in describing Patinkin's interest in exploring and rendering this material.

Reviewed by Elissa Sampson, 5/17/98

Personnel this recording:
Eric Stern: conductor
Paul Ford: Musical Arrangements


  1. Belz (Alexander Olshanetsky and Jacob Jacobs) 3:19
  2. Hey, Tsigelekh (Mordechai Gebirtig 3:07
  3. Rabbi Elimeylekh (Moshe Nadir) 3:34
  4. Raisins and Almonds (Abraham Goldfaden, Henry Lefkowitch, Stanley Lionel) 2:51
  5. Papirosn (Herman Yablokoff) 5:51
  6. Ten Kopeks (trad.) / Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman / The Hokey Pokey (Charles Mack, Taftt Baker, Roland La Prise) 2:19
  7. Maria (Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim) 2:30
  8. Yome, Yome (trad.) 1:06
  9. Paper Is White (trad.) 2:36
  10. Song of the Titanic (Joshua Rayzner) 4:32
  11. Motl the Operator (Chaim Towber and H. Solomonson) 3:16
  12. Under Your White Stars (Abraham Sutzkever and Abraham Brudno) 2:21
  13. American Tune (Paul Simon) 4:17
  14. Take Me out to the Ball Game (Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer) / God Bless America (Irving Berlin) 2:08
  15. Der Alter Tzigayner (Abraham Ellstein and Jacob Jacobs) / White Christmas (Irving Berlin) 3:57
  16. Oyfn Pripetshik (Mark M. Warshawsky) 3:59

to top of page To top of page

the KlezmerShack   Ari's home page 

to About the Jewish-music mailing list
to The Klezmer Shack main page
to Ari Davidow's home page

Thank you for visiting:
Copyright © 1998 Elissa Sampson. All rights reserved.
This page is maintained by Ari Davidow. E-mail Ari Davidow with any comments or suggestions. Last revised 08 November, 2014.