On "Ershter vals" -
folk tune sometimes sourced as Ukrainian and sometimes as Russian, and is
also credited to a little known Russian, Herold Lavrentievich Kittler, who
served as conductor of the 6th Tavrichesky Grenadier Regiment in 1914.
Lyrics to the folk tune were written and performed by Chaim Tauber
(1901-1972). Born in Mogilev-Podolsky, which is thought of today as part of
Ukraine, he developed as a theatrical performer there and in Romania,
immigrated to Canada and then to the United States, working in the early
twentieth century in Yiddish theater and film.
lyrics for the tune, a sampling is "My first great joy / The
crystal-light of the room. / Your first long dress / You put on for the
first ball. / A beautiful night / That I will never forget. / I
remember now / How the chandelier / Lit up the room." The lyrics, as such,
speak nostalgically of that earlier time in one's life of that "first waltz"
when the beloved was the "shenste keynign fun ershte bal!" Or, the most
beautiful queen of the ball.
pages, circa 3' 00" - an MP3 demo is here:
The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major
commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior
arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this piano