Adler at the Krolewski
Theatre as a conductor, where he wrote without a
composition to the song, "Amalia" (Esther Neroslavaska),
for Schiller's "The Robbers." This composition pleased
so much of the public and the theatre circle, that Sam
Adler soon had him write music for Lateiner's operetta,
"Joseph With His Brothers," which then went on to have
great success, thanks to his adapted, Oriental music.
About his writing, Julius
"S. has acquired a name in
the artistic circles in Warsaw for his "Joseph and His
Brothers." Then I met him, and he made a deep impression
on me, making his ideas known [to me], passing from one
tone to a second, his nuances, his
retshitativ, beautiful melodies, counterpoints and in
general the "music," which he arranged in such a
shmatedike play as Lateiner's "Josef With His Brothers."
I have seen in him a bright star for a developing
Together with the troupe S. went to Kiev, where he
worked as a conductor in the Russian operetta troupe of
Novikov, soon going over to Krause's Yiddish troupe and,
through him, continued to work with the "United Troupe"
in Warsaw, and from there he went over to Epelberg's
troupe, where he wrote without music for the operetta,
"The Jew in Morocco" and then joined Kaminsky in the
newly found Kaminsky theatre, where he wrote music for
Avraham Yitzchok Kaminsky's operettas, "Akiva mit di
talmudim" and "Avn ezra, der yidisher minister."
1912-- S. was together with
Jacob Libert and H. Epelberg (A, Kompaneyets--manager),
the owners of the Elyzeum. Later in Warsaw, where there
was staged for the first time (with Esther Neroslavska,
Jacob Kelter and S. Landau) the European operetta, "Shva,"
"Shoshana di tsnueh" and "Gypsy Love" (translated by
Pesakh Kaplan and Jacob Waxman).
1913-- S. was, together with
his wife Esther Neroslavska, was engaged by Thomashefsky
for his New York's National Theatre, but he had to
content himself with writing music for the prologue of
Dymow's "The Eternal Wanderer" (12 December 1913), and
he conducted only nine times the production of "Eva";
his further activity was disturbed by the former
After accompanying his wife
on her guest appearances across London, Paris and
Czernowitz, where S. also staged and conducted the
operetta, he came back to Warsaw, where he was taken
into the military. Freed after serving for six months,
he was in Vilna where he conducted in the local troupe
of Lipowski, where he staged his translated, European
operettas, then he traveled with various Yiddish troupes
until Vitebsk, where it was forbidden to play in
Yiddish, and the troupe went over to play the Yiddish
repertoire (from Gordin to Thomashefsky) in a Russian
translation. In Vitebsk S. was further mobilized, but he
fled again to Kharbin, where he conducted for almost a
year's time there in the assembled Yiddish troupe.
In March 1917 S., together
with his wife, went over to Japan and Canada to New
York. Here he wrote without music for the operetta, "The Gypsy Aza" (May 1917) in the National
Theatre, but, due to the union conditions, he could not
become engaged in New York, and he was thus engaged in
Philadelphia for the 1917-18 season to Hershel
Zuckerberg and Samuel Goldinburg, where he had to be
content with writing "illustrated music" for the
melodramas, which were playing in this theatre, among
others. For Solotorefsky's "Wedding Ring,"
"How a Man Loves[?]," "The King of Love[?]" and "Mother's Love."
For the 1918-19 season S.
was engaged by Anshel Schorr in his Philadephia Arch
Street Theatre, where he continued to write only
"illustrated music," including the music for the
melodramas, "Palestine Mothers" and Solotorefsky's,
"Children, Come Home."
For the 1919-1920 season S.
was engaged by Max R. Wilner and Maurice Schwartz in
Philadelphia, where besides "illustrated music" for the
staged melodramas, he also wrote without the
composition, for the operetta, "Amol in may (Maytime),"
(lyrics and songs adapted into Yiddish by Maurice
Schwartz). The operetta was staged in Philadelphia for
twenty-six weeks, which was then considered a big record
in the history of Yiddish theatre in Philadelphia, and
S.'s name as a composer was very popular in the Yiddish
theatre circles of New York. In April 1920 he went with
Schwartz and his Philadelphia troupe to New York and
staged the operetta on 20 April 1920 in the Irving Place
For the 1920-21 season S.
was engaged by Julius Nathanson in Boston, where there
was staged, "Once Upon a Time" under the name, "Das eybike
lidele." Here S. wrote among other compositions, the
music for Freiman's operetta, "The
Son of Israel" and "Velvele khvat" and for Dymow's "Jerusalem."
By that time A. was taken in
as a member of the musician's union, and he had the
opportunity to work in New York.
For the 1922-23 season S.
was engaged by Julius Adler and Herman Serotsky in the
Liberty Theatre, where there was staged for the opening
on 8 September 1922, Julius Adler's operetta, "Country Love," with music by S. About the
writing, Julius Adler says: "For the opening of the
season, I put on my operetta, "Country Love." Sandler
wrote the entire summer music for her. The entire
Yiddish musical world (in New York) was deeply
interested in the two new authors. And a great
impression was made by Sandler's music, but his
treystn zikh. That it was only by coincidence that the
music had he had prepared for the entire summer, which
for him was that the tunes were not sufficient for the
entire season A. that V. (?)-- and here it became very
disappointing. For the beginning of the same season they
had several of the New York theatres stage Moshe
Schorr's play, "Before the Wedding."
The play, due to the bad acting of the actors, and due
to the normal, music template, failed. I bought the
play, "Makh" ZI a little
oyber. "Shneyd" ZI
for my theatre, and Sandler wrote the new music. Here
Sandler himself demonstrated in his greatness, having
the play as an operetta (called "A Frolic
Wedding"), which was of greater scope than my "Country
The Liberty Theatre did not
exist for a long time. S. still wrote music for Libin's "Meydlshe
khezhboynes (A Girl's Calculations?)" (31 December 1922 in the Royal Union Theatre)
and for the operetta, "Di geferlekhe meyd" (30 March
1923) in the Lenox Theatre. S.'s name, however, was very
popular, and for the 1923-24 season, he was engaged in
the National Theatre (managers: Louis Goldberg and M.
Saks), where on 11 September 1923 there was staged Moshe
Schorr's operetta, "The Romanian
Wedding" (the prior play, "Before the Wedding," or, "A
Frolic Wedding") with new music by S. The operetta was
played for several months, and the theatre critics were
unanimous, that the success they had to thank S.'s new
tunes in the music. Thus Dr. A. Mukdoiny writes: "'The
Romanian Wedding" is destined to have a good
musician--Peretz Sandler. Peretz Sandler went away from
the stock Yiddish operetta music, from the dull musical
ziftsele, from the semi-tearful
hofkele. From every
from every bet-hamedrash-like
musical melodies, and from the ostensibly presented folk
music. Bernstein writes something: "From pieces and
crumbs that people have from time to time heard from
Sandler, who himself created an entirely good
impression, however not everything had been expected,
that he had "made good" in a greater matter for a great
Yiddish theatre. "The Romanian Wedding" has however
shown that Sandler is an important musical force, and
that the managers (theatre managers) have made a great
mistake that they until now had not seen in him.... Even
though the Romanian village in the Romanian, Oriental,
sentimental motifs, predominates, and the combination is
a device, because these motifs are close to the Jewish
heart. .... Sandler is especially successful in "Hg
hasif" for the peasants. The second act -- the parade
act -- is the most musical of all and and indeed the
most beautiful too." Israel the Yankee [I. Friedman]
writes: "The music in the song-and-dance comedy, "The
Romanian Wedding," hadn't any central idea, no main
point on which all of the melodies shall come together
and draw from their musical existence, so to say. But
the individual numbers were so lively, so..... that the
audience danced under from under their seat [places].
Some of the numbers were Romanian, sad and happy --
among which it made me feel the famous Romanian "doina,"
and also the "hora."
On 18 January 1924 there was staged in the National
Theatre H. Kalmanowitz's, "Papa's
Boy." This is actually not an operetta, but S. only
had it "clothed" with musical numbers, but also it evoked
very good [words} from the critics about S.'s music: "In
the comedy there were many numbers sung and enough music
adapted by Peretz Sandler. And, however, the whole thing
becomes unfocused around the music, nevertheless here
there were very many numbers, which forced the audience
to forget it, the pace and development, in the
importance of the music." [B. I. Goldstein] "As to the
contents comes the music of Peretz Sandler, who has that
he can not only write excellent
but also music of another fashion, the melodies were
light and brought about a happy mood before the comical
The season ended with the
production (on 28 March 1924) of N. Rakowe's operetta,
"Mendel From Japan," music by S., also this at times
calls upon the critic to be very positive about S.'s
music. B. I. Goldstein as such writes;
'Rather this is music created by a Yiddish
compozitor. who spent (oysgeven)
where the world has no end, Has called for with all the
gebet-shtrikhn and Elegy of the nations and
countries. And now, when he began to create the built-up
source of his melody in "Mendel in Japan." People became
fascinated, also convinced that S. also possessed the
ability for harmony.
has the ongezen
in the beginning of the second act, and also in other
choral numbers. ...and when the Yiddish operetta stage
wanted his rich (reykh)
with a talented singer, each in his field, he was able
to bring out the distant and deepest of every vocal. ...
We have farzikht
a musician, who possesses a great source of melody, to
which he had at first
and which he uses out
and cautious (farzichtik).
And how deep and large the source might not be -- one is
sure that he is full of swing, and is easy, nice,
aferetenmesik." Liliput writes in the "Frayhayt":
"The leitmotif alone has been pleasantly
the soul, and the composer has immediately received the
applause. ...The Japanese motif simply excited the
For the 1924-25 season S.
continued to be engaged as a composer and conductor in
the National Theatre, where on 3 October 1924 Israel
Rosenberg's operetta, "Caucasian Love" opened, with
music by S., and the critics continued be excited:
"Sandler's music for "Caucasian Love" is of the type
that goes much further than the stage lights. It
goes over to the audience, and from there it is very
possible that it may enter, marching in with
and in the homes. Sandler doesn't go to the classical,
apparently from there with a deep "Torah." He goes to
folkskveln (this time the Caucasians and other
Russian folk-motifs), and also to the Yiddish
and takes it on his own vessels and makes it the partly
fardeyt. The public should not
the stars to grasp the "depths" of the music, only the
music goes directly to their heart and understanding"
[Israel the Yankee]. "From Sandler's music smite a
warmth, the motif a melodic, Oriental-Yiddish" [R.
Levin]. Entirely another writes a review in the "Frayhayt,"
"N. Buchwald: "The music moved too much, so it's hard to
gain a sense of whether Peretz Sandler's music is good
On 5 November 1924 in the
same theatre there was staged Avraham Shomer's comedy,
"A Point of Order," and on 28 January
1925--Solotorefsky's, "Three Wives" (both with music by
The season ended (on 3 April
1925) with the staging of Israel Rosenberg's operetta, "A Wedding in Palestine," with
music by S. About the writing, B. I. Goldstein states:
"The leitmotif in the Hora dance were the two pearls
with which Sandler is most proud. However, there are
also other numbers that were very
gerostene." Ab. Cahan
writes: "Sandler's music has in itself taste and juice.
Several of his melodies were .... They created a music
For the 1925-26 season S.
continued to be connected as a composer and conductor in
the National Theatre. On 19 September 1925 the season
opened with Sheine Rukhl Simkoff's, "Before The Wedding," music by S., and on 17 November
there was staged L. Freiman's operetta, "Models of Love," music by S,
further becoming the music for the operetta unanimously
very well received by the theatre critics: "Peretz
Sandler musical and directorial ability is felt
in the said operetta" [Dr. A. Mukdoni], "Sandler has
continued to demonstrate that he is a big win for the
Yiddish operetta theatre. He also has shown with the
operetta, that he makes progress. For each scene he has
adapted the right music, the right melody. The scenes,
which are performed on the stage, were connected
together with music, like a body with a soul, a special
compliment comes to Sandler for the beautiful choral
scenes. Among the beautiful things from the operetta
were the dance and singing of the chorus, and the beauty
comes mainly from the music, in which Sandler fit into
the dance" [Hillel Rogoff]. "Sandler's music is youthful
and elegant. It is characterized by its brilliance and
purity.... It is a great
in the heavy, serious atmosphere of the melodrama,
especially for its first time. ... Sandler's music is a
trick of knal-effects.
It seeks to affect with a natural cadence and with a
pure rhythm, which is at times like the strong
turbulence of a waterfall, and at times like the light
noise of a field creek" [L. Kesner].
Ending the season on 30
March 1926 with the production of Isidore Lesh's
operetta, "Vlodka in Odessa," with S.'s music. B. I.
Goldstein writes about the music: "The music to
create comes easily to the composer. It creates the
impression that Sandler hasn't a strong spirit in "Vlodka,"
but still there came out a pearl-like thing. Such
Yiddish, authentic Yiddish songs that we have already
heard for a long time. And when you listen for a season
with so many foreign motifs, with so many
grand opera, you must feel very good and very contented
when it is presented to you as such, which you have
waited for, in vain, for a long time."
For the 1926-27 season the
troupe went over from the National Theatre to Brooklyn's
Liberty Theatre, and there on 22 September 1926 staged
through Aaron Lebedeff Louis Freiman's operetta, "Siomka Becomes a Groom," music by S., and
this was his last musical creation.
On 7 October 1926 S. became
ill, and two days later, on 9 October 1926, he passed
away, and he was laid to rest in the cemetery of the
Yiddish Theatrical Alliance [at Mt. Hebron Cemetery,
Flushing--ed.], New York.
characterized S.'s music as such: "His music is light,
ingenious and given with wine and love.... When he was
excited for a certain scene, or with a certain idea, you
felt like it
gist up for his music freshness and sweetness."
Julius Adler writes: "The
name 'Kavkaz," "Japan, "Palestine," one after the
other show what love Peretz has for the Orient. That the
Oriental music has in it Japanese specifically, by
whence he actually came to America. ...The musical,
oriental melodies spring from him appear as if from a
fountain--and how much music finds itself in a play,
must be more than even so much
of greatness--he has written so much."
B. Botwinick characterized
him as a man: "He was an exceptionally dear friend.
He was a sage. There are talents out there, who are just
not great sages. Sandler was a true sage, a sharp
thinker, a humorist with a warm cheer for everything,
who has been and amusing in life."
Under any conditions S.'s
came out to work in America, and about his future plans,
we learn from a letter that he had written some days
before his death to his friend, the composer Yitschok
Schlossberg in Warsaw: "...I have enough of the greatest
things that a musician has known here in the abyss of
the Jewish ghetto. I have a name in the English quarter,
but I would have given everything to be in that time
now, when we used to see ourselves, talk and fantasize.
It is not good that people sell their soul in order to
make a life. It weighs on oneself for a year, a
responsibility to produce a killer work. You don't bring
forth your intellectual work and say: I am finished,
come let us see what has come out. But people say to
you: Iron out your thoughts, your brain, and it must be
ready in the one... the time. So, how can a person do
it? True, I do it, but not willingly. I want, more than
anything, to give later often and away [?]--where black
pepper grows--however, this
in itself a magnet and not let--it was not good for
me--the entire world is not good for someone such as
me--believe me, I am often jealous of an artisan--but I
can not help it. I have now finished an operetta and
should be thinking about a second--and by me it is still
so, that I cannot borrow--but
or not vilndik
caught up once entered a [strange] cadence. When the
great Wagner needed to create, he also wanted not to be
able to help himself. Here we are angels, but it is,
after all, not a living. One hopes that a few dollars is
coming to him, and give a
shpey un avek
to Russia. I can no longer. I will be happy with how
much it is not--but not to sell my living brain."
Jacob Mestel, who often used
to meet with S., with whom he had a sister-in-law, said:
"The last week before his death, S. used to, for
hours long, adjourn n the sofa with his eyes closed,
rubbing with both hands the stars and
lamenting: "My dear Mestel, we are not artists, but
liferantn. I will not endure." S., at the time,
needed to prepare one operetta, then a second. He passed
away from a blood
of the brain. There is no doubt that the "hurry-up" had
shortened the days of one of our finest musicians."
S. left an unfinished
operetta ("Der tovarishtsh [The Comrade?]"--libretto by
M. E. from his
wife Esther Neroslavska.
Hillel Rogoff-- "Amol
in may," "Forverts," N. Y., 7 May 1920.
Rubinstein-- "Di rumenishe khasene," "Tog," N.
Y., 14 Sept. 1923.
"Di rumenishe khasene"-- an opereta in neshonal
teater, "Forverts," N. Y., 21 Sept. 1923.
"Di rumenishe khasene," "Frayhayt," N. Y., 21
Israel der yenki
[I. Friedman]-- "Di rumenishe khasene," "Yidishe
tagenblat," N. Y., 21 Sept. 1923.
Dr. A. Mukdoni--
Der guter sof, "Morning Journal," N. Y., 28
L. Kesner-- "Vigr"
operete mit a rumensishn tempo, "Yidishe
tagenblatt," N. Y., 19 Oct. 1923.
Auerbach]-- Der triumf fun a kinstler in an
opereta, "Morning Journal," N. Y., 25 January
Israel der yenki--
"Dem taten's zindel," "Yidishe tagenblat," N.
Y., 25 January 1924.
B. I. Goldstein--
Tsvey komedies, "Der tog," N. Y., 25 January
"Dem taten's zundl," di naye operete in neshonel
theater, "Forverts," N. Y., 8 Feb. 1924.
Dr. A. Mukdoni--
Mendel in yapan, "Morning Journal," N. Y., 4
B. I. Goldstein--
In yidishen un englishen teater, "Tog," N. Y., 4
Israel der yenki--
"Mendel in yapan" in neshonel, "Yidishe
tagenblatt," N. Y., 2 April 1924.
Theater notitsen, "Forverts," N. Y., 8 April
Yapanezishe gezang in a yidisher oysteytshung, "Frayhayt,"
N. Y., 11 April 1924.
Israel der yenki--
"Kavkazer libe," "Yidishe tagenblatt," N. Y., 17
R. Levin-- "Kavkazer
libe," "Tog," N. Y., 17 October 1924.
Sekond-evenyu operete "Frayhayt", N. Y., 17 Oct.
B. I. Goldstein--
"A khasene in palestine," "Tog," N. Y., 18 April
Ab. Cahan-- Di
naye muzikalishe komedye in neshonal teater,
"Forverts," N. Y., 1 May 1925.
Dr. A. Mukdoni--
"A la brodvay," "Morning Journal," N. Y., 20
B. I. Goldstein--
"Artists end models," "Tog," N. Y., 20 Nov.
L. Kesner-- "Di
models fun libe," "Yidishe tagenblatt," N. Y.,
20 Nov. 1925.
Sandler's naye opereta in neshonel teater,
"Forverts," N. Y., 27 Nov. 1925.
B. I. Goldstein--
"Volodke in odes" in neshonal teater, "Tog," N.
Y., 9 April 1926.
L. Kesner-- "Volodke
in odes," "Yidishe tagenblatt," N. Y., 9 April
Dr. A. Mukdoni--
In un aroys teater, "Morning Journal," N. Y., 9
Theater notitsen, "Forverts," N. Y., 28 Sept.
L. S. Bieli-- "Siomke
vert a khosn," "Yidishe tagenblatt," N. Y., 29
Rumshinsky-- "Vegen dem geshtrobenem muziker
peretz sandler, "Forverts," 12 Oct. 1926,
"Rumshinsky-bukh," N. Y., 1930.
Dr. A. Mukdoni--
In un arum teater, "Morning Journal," N. Y., 15
Kirschenbaum-- A trer un a blut oyf dem kaver
fun peretz sandler, "Der amerikaner," N. Y., 15
[--]-- Stsenes un
bilder fun peretz sandler's loyh, "Forverts," N.
Y., 15 Oct. 1926.
Perlmutter-- Peretz sandler, "Yidishe tagenblatt,"
N. Y., 17 October 1926.
Sandler]-- Dizen interesanten brif hot sandler
geshribn far zayn toit, "Forverts," 22 Oct.
A. Frumkin-- Di
letste klangen fun peretz sandler's muzik, "Tob,"
N. Y., 13 Oct. 1926.
B. Botwinick-- In
der teater-velt, "Der veker," N. Y., 23 Oct.
fun zhurnal "Der teater-shtern," N. Y., 3, 1926,
mit artiklen fun kh. gudelman, b. varshavski,
israel rozenberg un anshel shor.
Europeyishe muzik in yidish, "Nayer leben,"
Bialystok, 29 Oct. 5; 12 Nov. 1926.
Peretz sandler, "Haynt," Warsaw, 8, Nov. 1926.
Julius Adler-- A
por verter oyf sandlers matzeva, "Vilner tog,"
19 Nov. 1926.
Rozhansky-- Di derefenungs-forshtelungen in
teater "Argentine," "Dorfishe libe," muzik fun
peretz sandler, oyfgefirt unter der leytung fun
mordekhai hokhberg, "Yidishe tsaytung," Buenos
Aires, 5 March 1929.
Dr. A. Mukdoni--
Zikhronus fun a yidishn teater-kritiker, "Arkhiv,"
Vilna, 1930, pp. 411-12.