On "Numi, numi" - (2018)
The melody is not always attributed to Ukrainian-born Joel Engel (1868–1927), for its having become so well known as if purely a folk melody from an obscure past. It is derived from a Yiddish cradle song, and the lyrics often sung are by Yechiel Heilpern (1880–1942).
Engel was a multi-faceted musician, who studied at the Moscow Conservatory with the urging of Tchaikovsky, and also worked as music critic, collector of folk melodies by recording on Edison's "new" wax cylinders, lecturer and organizer of concerts through the founding of the Society for Jewish Folk Music. Among other work was the incidental music for the film, The Dybbuk. From Moscow to Berlin and, in his later years Tel Aviv, he was an advocate for Yiddish music which would bolster cultural identity and memory. These little variations are an essay on that melody.
2 pages, circa 4' 30" - 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 score.
On "Numi, numi"