Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Breaking the silence

Haven't posted in a while. To all my (four) faithful readers, my apologies. But I have been busy with something else, which I will now tell you about: Last week, Dave, the owner of the Dancing Camel bar and brewery, called me and invited our quartet to play on Monday, which is Johann Strauss Jr's birthday. Dave is a graduate of Yeshiva University, who decided after graduation that his future was in beer rather than accounting. He studied brewing in New Jersey, then came to Israel and opened the Dancing Camel. He makes the best beer in Israel, so if you are ever in Israel, be sure to make this a stop.

Last year around Christmas time, I suggested that Dave invite us to play Christmas carols. We are an amateur quartet, so the only compensation we asked for was unlimited beer. Dave was delighted. He is still orthodox - he doesn't wear a traditional skullcap, but his head is always covered with a hat or bandanna - so he refused to advertise the evening as a Christmas event. Nonetheless, the place was packed, with everyone singing along with Jingle Bells, including Dave. You have to understand that in Israel, Christmas is almost universally ignored, and many former Americans miss the holiday spirit.

Anyway, since then, we have played a few times at the bar, always in exchange for excellent brew. We often play arrangements of Israeli folksongs, which I arrange for string quartet. Doing these arrangements has been what has kept me busy for the past week, which is my excuse for not posting.  I have now packaged these arrangements, and am offering them for sale over the net. So if any of you (four) readers out there are interested, send me an email ( or post a comment here, and I will send you the particulars. I'm afraid I don't have a recording of these, but you download a midi version of one of the songs here. And here is a page of the score:

More interesting posts brewing. See you all later.


  1. Hello Raypapa. As far as De Saint George scores, I think some may be had from something called the International Music Score Library Project which I am not at all familiar with. They have - according to Wiki - about 75,000 scores (now in the public domain) available. Many George quartets have been recorded so I imagine the music is available, unless the musicians read off manuscripts. Best wishes.

  2. I don't understand the reference to the Chevalier de Saint George... but the Library Project violinhunter refers to is here:
    They have a vast library of public-domain music available for free download.
    Yoel, I'm unlikely to show up at the Dancing Camel anytime soon, but I am interested in getting hold of a set of parts for your arrangements. Anything at my site I can offer you in exchange?
    Cheers! Ch.S.

  3. My sclerosis is advancing. I remember that I mentioned Chevalier de Saint-George, but for the life of me I don't remember where. So, unless you point me to it, I am unlikely to be able to explain it.

    Six of de Saint-George's quartets are indeed available online at,_Op.1_%28Saint-Georges,_Joseph_Bologne%29 . I strongly recommend to you to become familiar with this site, as it is a true goldmine.

    As for the quartet arrangements, I will contact you be email. Sorry you won't make the Dancing Camel, but I am guessing it would entail a fair amount of air travel.

  4. Ah, now I remember. I didn't write about de Saint-George, Violinhunter did at his blog Wonderful blog, thank you.