Brave Old World

Beyond the Pale

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Appropriately reflective klezmer from Germany, where even the high-spirited freylekhs have a somber edge and Kurt Bjorling's probing clarinet is part accusatory finger, part triumph of intellect and love over will. Among endless highlights, musical director Alan Bern's accordion centerpiece "Big Train" stands out. His imitation of the chugging of a steam engine and the clack of the rails is not only eerily precise, but heartbreaking as it drives toward the juncture of nostalgia and horror.

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