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Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32Jews and Music-Making in the Polish Lands$
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François Guesnet, Benjamin Matis, and Antony Polonsky

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781906764739

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781906764739.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 27 June 2022

‘Jewish Musicians are the Crowning Achievements of Foreign Nations’

‘Jewish Musicians are the Crowning Achievements of Foreign Nations’

Jewish Identity and Yiddish Nationalism in the Writings of Menachem Kipnis

(p.309) ‘Jewish Musicians are the Crowning Achievements of Foreign Nations’
Polin: Studies in Polish Jewry Volume 32

Julia Riegel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the treatment of the Jewish identity of various composers by the Yiddish folklorist and music critic, Menachem Kipnis. It describes Kipnis as a small, energetic man with a soft but beautiful singing voice and considered one of the most popular Jewish folklorists of interwar Poland. It also looks into Kipnis' book World-Famous Jewish Musicians, a collection of biographies of nineteenth-century composers with a Jewish background. The chapter examines the contradictions and idiosyncrasies of World-Famous Jewish Musicians compared with Kipnis's other works. It seeks to understand the balance Kipnis struck between praise for Jewish composers and quasi-nationalist emphasis on their Jewishness on the one hand, and his work as a folklorist in Poland, collecting songs from traditional, Yiddish-speaking Jews on the other.

Keywords:   Jewish identity, Yiddish folklorist, Menachem Kipnis, World-Famous Jewish Musicians, Jewish composers

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