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MNEMOSYNE lyrics by Trumbull Stickney (c. 1902) It's autumn in the country I remember. How warm a wind blew here about the ways! And shadows on the hillside lay to slumber During the long sun-sweetened summer-days. It's cold abroad the country I remember. The swallows veering skimmed the golden grain At midday with a wing aslant and limber; And yellow cattle browsed upon the plain. It's empty down the country I remember. I had a sister lovely in my sight: Her hair was dark, her eyes were very sombre; We sang together in the woods at night. It's lonely in the country I remember. The babble of our children fills my ears, And on our hearth I stare the perished ember To flames that show all starry thro' my tears. It's dark about the country I remember. There are the mountains where I lived. The path Is slushed with cattle-tracks and fallen timber, The stumps are twisted by the tempests' wrath. But that I knew these places are my own, I'd ask how came such wretchedness to cumber The earth, and I to people it alone. It rains across the country I remember.
1 --- Oy a koyl, di fayerdike koyl, Aza koyl kon dem menchn dershisn, Nor ver se hot dikh fun mir opgeredt Far an ander meydele tzu vern a khosn 2. --- Oy du bist shoyn a khosn gevorn Se zol dir zayn mit mazl un mit glik Nor ikh bin dokh nokh keyn kale nit gevorn Oy, umkern vestu zikh, oy, tzu mir kerik 3. --- Shpatzirn zaynen mir beyde gegangen Der shlakh iz geven far undz shmol Nor ver se hot dikh fun mir opgeredt, Arayn zol er in dem vistn gospitol translation: A bullet, a burning fiery bullet Such a bullet can shoot a person Like the one who talked you into Becoming another girl’s groom You’re already a groom May it be with luck and good fortune But I am still not a bride You’ll come back to me, yes, to me We went walking The road was too narrow But whoever talked you out of me Should go into a desolate hospital
Ljova - Less 05:29
Szeki 04:18
GONE CRAZY text by Ljova Call my attorney I've got a case I've lost my heart So it says on my face Call the policeman There's been a theft I'd offer a reward, But there's just nothing left, oh, Call my psychiatrist, too! For I've gone crazy, crazy, crazy for you crazy, crazy, crazy for you crazy, crazy, crazy in love with you. Call the musicians Give them a ring There's not much time So they better start practicing Call all the chefs And all the cooks Too many guests Most of them crooks Call, please, my rabbi, too For I've gone crazy, crazy, crazy for you crazy, crazy, crazy for you crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy in love with you.


Ljova and the Kontraband's debut album, released in 2008.

"The music is hard to categorize; you wouldn't call it classical, but it has classical elements (or soundtrack-like elements, for several pieces here are drawn from film soundtracks)... Perhaps the best way to imagine the music is to think about what Astor Piazzolla would have done if he had come from Eastern Europe. The title "Mnemosyne" refers to the feminine embodiment of memory in Greek mythology, and the album seems to set itself the task of weaving slender threads of musical memory -- tango, klezmer, polka, salon music, film music, chamber music, gypsy music, and jazz -- into a structure rigorous enough to hold them all. It succeeds, and it's lovely. "
--James Manheim, All Music Guide


released October 28, 2008

Ljova, viola and famiola
Inna Barmash, vocal
Patrick Farrell, accordion
Mike Savino, bass
Mathias Kunzli, percussion

Frank London, trumpet & flugelhorn
William Schimmel, accordion
Uli Geissendoerfer, piano
Alon Yavnai, piano
Marcus Rojas, tuba

Peter Karl

Anibal Kerpel
Alex Kharlamov
James Sizemore

Steven Berson


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Ljova New York, New York

Lev "Ljova' Zhurbin was born in Moscow, Russia, in 1978. He divides his time between composing music for film, concert, and dance; performing with his own ensemble LJOVA AND THE KONTRABAND, and arranging music for the Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Ensemble, Kronos Quartet, Alondra de la Parra, Brooklyn Philharmonic and many others. ... more

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