The artistic and biographical backgrounds of Mikhail Popov and
Arkadiy Gips have a great deal in common. Both embarked upon their musical careers as children, attended the best music schools
in the former Soviet Union, and emigrated to the United States
in the early 1990s. Most importanly, they share a deep love of Jewish music. "Mikhail and Arkadiy are klezmorim in the truest
sense of the word," noted cantor Jack Chomsky of Congregation Tifereth Israel in Columbus, OH. "The
word klezmer is really two words: Klei zemer- vessels of music. The use of this term dates to the Middle ages, referring to
itinerant musicians fulfilling the artistic and cultural needs of the Jewish community of Europe. They were noted for their performance of popular music of Jewish
and non-Jewish peoples, for their great instrumental skills and for their talents of improvisation."
In their arrangements,
Mikhail and Arkadiy chose well-known melodies as a starting point, then subject them to different and sometimes unexpected
stylistic transformations. More than the dialogue between the piano and violin, there is a relationship built between the
song's origins and a new instrumental interpretation.