“A delightfully entertaining romp for the entire family” is not the sort of description you expect to find gracing the cover of a CD released by Tzadik; the experimental music label set up by NY avant-supremo John Zorn, which is famous for championing extreme Japanese artists and Zorn’s own radical interpretations of film music… But this description fits Pincus and the Pig: A Klezmer Tale perfectly.
Released in 2004, as part of Tzadik’s Radical Jewish Culture series, it is a very droll, very Jewish reworking of Peter and the Wolf by none other than Maurice Sendak, the artist/writer behind the children’s classic, Where The Wild Things Are. On the CD, Sendak narrates, in fine histrionic fashion, the story of a boy who leaves a gate open and does battle with a monstrous cudgel-wielding pig. The story comes complete with kvetching farm animals and is accompanied by the Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, who swagger and cavort their way through a klezmerised version of Prokofiev’s "Peter and the Wolf" score. Here are a couple of samples:
The CD, which comes with an illustrated booklet, Yiddish glossary, and bonus sheet of collectible stickers, can be purchased from the Tzadik website.