Salcia Landmann

Gefilte Fisch, Gefilte Liebe

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Reissued in 2009 by Germany's Ars Musici label and originally released by the even smaller Freiburger Musik Forum in 1993, this album collects Yiddish-language songs, arranged for voice and guitar, along with several German Jewish jokes told by researcher Salcia Landmann. The notes are only in German and the song texts given only in their original language, so this collection of "erotic, culinary jokes and love songs" will be most enjoyable for speakers of either Yiddish or German. The album may be fun for foreign listeners, however; vocalist Oksana Sowiak (who is an American-German of Ukrainian descent) and guitarist Fritz Mühlhölzer deliver relaxed comic performances, and everything they've released is worth seeking out. Landmann's jokes have been collected into a book that apparently became a bestseller in Germany. A sample: "Abbeles has opened up a kosher restaurant on Grenadier Street, in the poor Jewish neighborhood of Berlin. It flourishes, and he begins to stress good manners. A man comes in and eats like a pig. Abbeles says, 'If you ate that way at Kempinski's, what would he say?' The guest: 'Nu, he'd say, "If you want to eat like a pig, you should go to Abbeles'."'" If you're interested, a recipe for gefilte fish is included in the booklet. The same artists have also released a second CD, Jüdische Witze -- Jiddische Lieder.

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