ben baruch

The Complete Recordings 1949-50


2xCD jewel cases inside a boxset: LAST COPIES

SR255-6 2CD

The complete recordings of Yitshak Jacques Zaludkowski.

This box set reissues the complete recordings published on 78-rpm picture discs by "Saturne" in 1950. Nine discs were recorded under René Cloërec's direction, the other two under Léon Algazi's. Also included are "Yehi rotson" and "Shabes baym shalesh-shudes," two songs found on a non-picture disc record released by "Le disque folklorique yiddish."
This singer's repertoire is diversified: synagogal-like religious songs in Hebrew ("Kaddish," "Kol nidrey"), Yiddish songs ("Kinderyorn"), songs about religious topics in Hebrew ("Haben yakir," dedicated to his father) or Yiddish ("Zol nokh zayn shabbes"), and songs in Hebrew about the inception of the State of Israel ("Artseynu," "Vu ahin zol ikh geyn").


Baruch was a singer from the early 20th century, and although he was born in Poland he quickly relocated to Belgium, fleeing to France in the 30s following the Nazi occupation. When the war had subsided, Baruch carried on his singing in both France and Belgium and concentrated his efforts on traditional Jewish religious songs (rather than the Opera he had been trained to perform) and was eventually picked up to release a box set of 78rpm picture discs in 1950. I can't even imagine how these discs looked, but this collects all of Baruch's recorded material from the time and it's a pleasure to hear it like this. I don't have a background in traditional Jewish music so there are few reference points for me, but that doesn't prevent this collection from being hugely emotive and enjoyable, performed by a man with an effortlessly affecting voice. At times he sounds like the great singers of the 30s and 40s and at others he comes over alldeep and full of a worldly gravitas, but at all times there is an innocence to Baruch's tones which is indicative of the age. Even though he would have witnessed the horrors of a bloody war, he manages to instil his recordings with hope and beauty, and listening now this is more than inspirational. Before listening to this expansive double disc collectionI hadn't heard even a whisper about Baruch, but I guess that's what makes Sub Rosa such an important label - rather than sit back and release the obvious they actually hunt for lesser heard gems, and as usual this re-issue has been treated with the utmost care and attention to detail. An important collection of devastatingly gorgeous music.
Notes from Boomkat.


CD 1
01 Oifn pripetshik
02 Kinderyorn
03 Fartzweiflung
04 Haben yakir
05 Zol noch sain schabbes
06 Dos lempl
07 Rouah [Ruah]
08 El molé rakhamim
09 Shalom
10 Arzenu [Artseynu]
11 Kol nidrey
12 Kaddish

CD 2
01 Kaddisch fin Barditshev
02 Eli eli
03 Wie ahin soll ich gehn
04 S'wet Geschehn
05 Zochrenou lachaim
06 Zechor music by Rumshinski
07 Yehi rotzon Israel
08 Shabbes beim shalosh sudos
09 Elou devorim
10 Menashe
11 Veoulai
12 Bearvot haneguev