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Nizza Thobi in the Einstein Center:
Singer with great message

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A graceful person with a passionate voice and a touching message: Nizza Thobi who has been living in Munich for 25 years. The Israeli singer’s new programme called "Gebojrn in a sajdn hemdl" (born in a silk shirt) ranges from the ghetto of Wilna to her beloved Jerusalem. 

"Hemdl" means the Yiddish language which is the mother tongue of her witnesses of history from the past war time. The majority of them was killed. With big effort, Nizza Thobi has collected remote poems and songs of Jewish victims and members of the Resistance. "Yesterday, I read Eichmann' s memoirs again", she tells us. She wants to know about the whole truth on the rioting against the Jewish people and tell it musically to an audience being as young as possible.

By doing so, Nizza Thobi is successful throughout the whole evening ending with "Ich hob dich zufil lib" (I love you too much). A combined slide and music show brought the Jewish people and its culture almost as near as in reality to the impressed audience in the theatre "Theater Rechts der Isar". Everything that can happen if God sleeps only for a short time! But even a short defective contact of the music equipment did not interrupt the close contact between the stage and the auditorium.

Challenging an audience with Yiddish today? "This language is alive" says Nizza Thobi, "and can be sung magnificently in a smooth way". Even Goethe was attracted by "Das sajdn hemdl" and he therefore learned Yiddish and Hebrew. Furthermore, she teaches us Ladino, the Spanish version of Yiddish, in "Nani Nani".

However, the programme which is a bit too long can not easily be processed. The one who intends to listen to her songs in the way he would listen to Klesmer, namely sitting there comfortably and just consume them, will be disappointed radically.

The songs demand high standards and are composed predominantly on a melancholic basis. Yiddish humour can only be found after the break. >From time to time, Hans Jakob plays the tango very lovingly and authentically on the violin with respect to the melody. Parts of arrangements were written by Andreas Seifinger who plays the guitar technically perfect and represents the tactful backing of the evening.

At the same time, the concert was the presentation of Nizza Thobi's new and carefully produced CD. While listening to it, one dreams himself into an engrossed world whose poetically encoded texts are printed and explained on forty booklet pages. Everything is sad but true.

Münchner Merkur No. 61 / 03-2000
Article written by Andreas Weitkamp

haGalil onLine 04-04-2000


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