Yiddish Dances (chamber)

From Wind Repertory Project
Adam Gorb

Adam Gorb

General Info

Year: 1997 / 2020
Duration: c. 16:05
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Original Medium: Wind orchestra
Publisher: Maecenas Music
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - £60.00   |   Score Only (print) - £25.00


1. Khosidl – 3:20
2. Terkishe – 2:15
3. Doina – 2:00
4. Hora – 4:25
5. Freylachs – 4:40

Instrumentation (Flexible)

Full Score
Flute (doubling Piccolo)
E-flat Soprano Clarinet (doubling B-flat Soprano Clarinet)
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II
Horn in F
Trombone (or Euphonium)
Percussion I-II, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cowbell
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Tambourine
  • Temple Blocks
  • Tom-tom (low)
  • Wood Block
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Yiddish Dances was commissioned by Timothy Reynish for his 60th birthday. It is very much a party piece and brings together two of my abiding musical passions: the symphonic wind ensemble and klezmer -- the folk music of the Yiddish speaking people. The piece is about fourteen minutes long and is in five movements, all based on set klezmer dances:

I. Khosidl - a medium tempo 2/4 in which the music moves between satire, sentimentality, and pathos.
II. Terkishe - an up-tempo Jewish tango.
III. Doina - a free recitative in which various instruments in the band get a chance to show off.
IV. Hora - slow 3/8 time with a characteristic rocking rhythm.
V. Freylachs - very fast 2/4 time in which themes from the previous movements are recalled, ending in a riotous “booze-up” for all concerned.

Le Chaim! - to Life!

- Program Note by composer

Yiddish Dances has proved to be one of the most popular works written for winds in the last three decades. Originally for wind orchestra, this version for chamber ensemble allows for a socially distanced small ensemble much more akin to the size of a traditional klezmer band.

Yiddish Dances was originally commissioned by Timothy Reynish to celebrate his 60th birthday, and he conducted the first performance with the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Ensemble in March 1998. Since then, the work has found a place in the wind ensemble repertoire with regular performances worldwide and a great number of recordings.

During 2020 the Covid-19 pandemic severely affected the ability and practicality of large music ensembles to rehearse and perform. With this thought in mind, I decided to make a ‘chamber’ version of Yiddish Dances for 14 players as a way of bringing conductors and players together in these very difficult times. I hope I have managed to recapture the colour and party spirit of the work whilst perhaps creating something a little more intimate.

- Program Note by composer


(Needed - please join the WRP if you can help.)

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • University of Iowa (Iowa City) Symphony Band (Josh Neuenschwander, conductor) - 4 May 2021

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works