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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000019.txt from 2005/04

From: "Margaret Thornhill" <>
Subj: [kl] Prokofiev's Overture (was: Concert Announcement)
Date: Sat, 2 Apr 2005 12:59:55 -0500

Joseph Wakeling wrote:
>I would suspect rather it's that the translators believed that "Hebrew"
or "Jewish" (the latter being a literal translation, no?) were simply
more likely to be taken seriously than "Yiddish", the former being an
ancient Biblical term of acknowledged high nobility, whereas the latter
is only a breath away from "Yid", an anti-Semitic slur (as "Paki" is
vis-à-vis "Pakistani").Marvellous music, though, whatever you call it. :-)

Sure, but..
Yiddish is/was a widely spoken language with a proud and substantial
literary tradition, and as with Pakistani, the name of the language is not
itself a pejorative. (nor is the word Yid when not used as an ethnic
slur--am I right, Dan?) If Bellison performed this under the original title,
it can't have been thought a pejorative at the time

Seems to me the *narrative* themes of some of that literature--scenes of
shtetl life, for example--might well be the subtext of the "overture on
Yiddish themes"--rather than the "tunes" themselves
dnleeson wrote:

>>The real title is "Overture on Yiddish Themes" (with other
translations suggesting, "Overture on Jewish Themes").

Just took a look at the tattered trilingual (!)1922 edition that I
"inherited" from a family friend, former Bellison student Harold Sachs, who
taught in New York in the 50s and 60s.

The cover reads (Russian) (English:) Overture on Jiddish Themes "A Guntheil
( N. Koussewitzky)
Breitkopf and Hartel, Leipzig avec l'autorisation de Russicher
MusikverlagBerlin (Jiddish obviously from the German Jiddische)
The inside pages read: Overture sur Themes Juifs.

Margaret Thornhill

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