On a Yiddish Tango - (2016)    

for piano

On "Ich hab kein Heimatland," Friedrich Schwarz (1895–1933)


It is said that composer Friedrich Schwarz (1895–1933) wrote this last melody when having to flee to France from the National Socialists, naming it in a letter from 23 July 1933 as a "Jüdischer Tango." Some of the other musicians who recorded this were subsequently killed in concentration camps. The text to the song reads in part, "Ich hab kein Heimatland. / Ich habe nichts auf dieser Welt. / Ich zieh von Land zu Land / Und bleibe da, wo’s mir gefällt." In translation, "I have no home land / I have none on this earth. / I roam from land to land / and remain there, were I can." Schwartz' work was recorded by Marek Weber and his Orchestra in 1933, the same year in which Weber found his way to the United States, where he became a well known band leader, the "Waltz King of Radio."


From the Star of David as an emblem in the German-Jewish Community existing in Berlin, before Hitler's rise to power, to the Star of David as an tag stitched on to clothing to mark Jews before and during World War II was a short few years, with the extinguishing of  millions of Jewish lives and Jewish creativity as a murderous part of the National Socialism's' aim. 




 The melody is introduced with a gentle harmonic wash on the augmented dominant of G minor, and then a statement of the tango rhythm, Schwarz' evocative melody beginning at measure 18 and leading to the a tempo. The essay is of several sections, revisiting various elements and ending in a forte coda which then fades to pianissimo.



5 pages, circa 6' 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 score.


On a Yiddish Tango