After a somewhat delayed foray into professional singing, Evelyne Weltlinger launched her debut album Songs of My Heart on a beautiful autumn night at Camelot Lounge’s Django Bar. With four accompanying musicians, including her violinist son Daniel Weltlinger, Evelyne shared a selection of songs from the album and some additional pieces for a supportive and enthusiastic audience.
Music has always been a part of Evelyne’s life, instilled in her from a young age by her parents and particularly her violinist father. After pursuing a career in teaching, Evelyne couldn’t forget her love of music and began performing around Sydney as well as overseas in France and Germany. Now she’s had a chance to record her debut album in Berlin with accompanying musicians including Daniel Weltlinger and Kirsten Troyke. Songs of My Heart consists of a mixture of styles and genres from this multi-lingual singer from Yiddish folk songs to 20th century French ballads. All of the selections have a touch of Evelyne, though, through her additional translated lyrics taking each song through a range of French, Yiddish, German, and English verses.
For her launch, Evelyne was joined by her son Daniel Weltlinger on the violin, Marcello Maio on accordion, Cameron Jones on guitar, and Mark Harris on bass. The eclectic mix of instruments exemplified the wide range of influences to Evelyne’s music career and created opportunity to exciting mixing of styles for a unique sound. The lively exchanges especially between bass and violin kept the spirits up and the toes tapping during instrumental solos.
The two sets covered a lot of ground geographically and through time, representing Yiddish folk songs with modern French twists and traditional romantic tangos with a German jig flair. Crowd favourites were “Bei Muir Bissau Shein”, a song made famous by the Andrews Sisters, a spooky and sensual German number translated into “In the Darkness”, and an adapted Russian folk song “Those Were the Days” which had everyone clapping and singing along. Another stand-out was a sombre piece “Eli Eli” with Hebrew lyrics written by Hannah Senesh, a young Israeli woman who was killed by Nazis in World War II but who is known for her beautiful poetry. The selection of songs gently balanced the serious memorial songs with classic love songs and also light-hearted dance numbers.
The atmosphere of this album launch was one of joy and celebration but also of remembrance and gratitude for the history of the languages and people Evelyne is representing in her songs. She explained that her choice to translate Yiddish folk songs and record them is an attempt to keep the spirit of this music and culture alive. Her attitude of loving music as a part of her life and her soul was clearly reciprocated by the supportive audience who recognised either the songs she sung or the familiar sentiments of love and passion.
For more information and to purchase the CD, please visit Evelyne Weltlinger’s official website.