Klezmer by the pond

On Saturday we head down through Park Morskie Oko to the pond with the fountain for part of the summer promenades. Each week there is an hour of music: each week a different style: each week free. And this one, klezmer music, is the second last one of the season. How do we miss these things right on our doorstep?

The stage is set. A red curtain twisted around poles amongst the trees. Loudspeakers at the ready. A sprinkling of collapsible chairs. The players standing around talking. Debate about whether they were packing up or waiting to perform. Rugs spread on the ground with toys for kids: giant building blocks, noodles, a crawling tube. A pair of minute portable soccer goals and a volley ball net. A face painter with brushes laid out. A tiny audience.

At five to eleven there is an announcement. I can’t say I understand it but I know what it means, and I must have plucked out the word for five at least.

The music begins: violin, accordion, clarinet, tambourine and double bass. It’s foot-tapping music, human voice music, and the instruments do things I haven’t heard them do before. For most of the hour I have an unimpeded view, but slowly more people arrive and I lose the visuals that are so important to my pleasure in music.

So my eye passes over the audience. Mainly older people and young families. Kids engage in a robust exchange of noodle blows. A hyperactive dad juggles with cones and plastic skittles and balances a noodle on his foot. A mum squats beside a toddler collecting pebbles, moving to the music. A man sits on the rug nonchalantly with a toy tortoise perched on his shoulder. The woman in front of me, probably in her eighties, jigs rhythmically on her chair.

The music continues, rising to a frenzy, falling to gentleness. A passing dog objects to a passing cyclist and adds his frenzy of yaps.

And then the performance ends. We insist on two encores, one of which is, of course, If I were a rich man. As she leaves, the old woman and her companion smile widely at us and say “Do widzenia.”

That was Saturday. On Sunday at 12 we join a couple of thousand other people at the base of Chopin’s statue for Chopin in the park, another free musical offering of Warsaw summer.

About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
This entry was posted in Music, photos and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Klezmer by the pond

  1. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Wonderful, Klezmer was part of a module I studied a few years ago. I know little about music but I did enjoy it. It must have been great to hear it live, so much abandon!


  2. Sue says:

    Sounds like fun, Meg!


  3. restlessjo says:

    Applause! Applause! 🙂 One of the things I love about Tavira in the summer is the sequence of free concerts by the riverside. If only I had chance to post some! 🙂


  4. findingnyc says:

    What a treat! I love to be able to hear music like this. Too bad the crowds showed up, but it sounds like the people – watching was still very interesting.


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