Soul music for the High Holy Days

By , August 25, 2010 1:05 pm

During the High Holy Days Jews around the world congregate to experience a sense of spiritual community.  It is a time of family gatherings and happy times juxtaposed with introspection and solemn prayer.

In choosing the music for this year’s JSA High Holy Days Music Mix we wanted to highlight the voices of cantors who have devoted themselves to perfecting their art. The High Holy Days has inspired some of the most beautiful and compelling Jewish sacred music ever recorded. On this album we feature such legendary cantors as Leib Glantz, Leibele Waldman, Gershon Sirota and Moishe Oysher. We also highlight the interpretations of some of today’s finest cantors.

In addition, we also wanted to share the more upbeat, happy tunes that appeal to children learning about Jewish traditions and the meaning of the holidays. Some of my fondest memories are of helping my mother prepare for the big holiday dinner and learning about the special foods that meant a “happy new year!’

This special mix of songs has been excerpted from albums which can be heard any time on our website. The mix includes light-hearted, yet meaningful, songs for children.  It also includes some of the most beautiful cantorial music ever written. Enjoy!

Click here to hear all 18 songs or to listen to your favorites.

These songs are for your listening pleasure only.  They may not be copied, reproduced or sold.

Excerpts of selections from these albums were used to create the JSA High Holidays Music Mix 5771.

Click on any title to hear the entire album.

(1) Ye Shall Rejoice On Your Festivals by Shimon & Ilana Gewirtz

(2) Simeni Ka Hotam by Cantor Ehud Spielman

(3) Misha Alexandrovich by Cantor Misha Alexandrovich

(4) Concerts & Recitals #3 by Cantor Zvee Aroni

(5)  Our Prayers in Song by Cantor Henry Butensky

(6) Prayers of My People by Cantor Louis Danto

(7) Chants Folkloriques Israeliens by Cantor Michel Heymann

(8)  Hallel & Three Festivals by Cantor Leib Glantz

(9) High Holy Days in a Conservative Synagogue by Cantor Moshe Schwimmer

(10) Holidays around the Year by Chaim Parchi

(11) Kinder Songs – Holiday Songs for the Entire Family by Cantor Deborah Katchko-Gray

(12) S’iz Yontev Kinder! Lomir Zingen by Cindy Paley

(13) Teshuva: Liturgical Explorations for the Days of Awe by Ramon Tasat

(14) Chassidic Melodies by Cantor Leibele Waldman

(15) Cantorial Chants & Jewish Songs by Cantor Seymour Schwartzman

(16) European Recordings (1906-1907) Vol. 2 by Cantor Gershon Sirota

(17) The Power, The Glory, The Soul of Moishe Oysher by Moishe Oysher

Vogue Records: Spinning a pretty picture

By , August 18, 2010 3:52 pm

The Recorded Sound Archives at FAU Libraries has been sorting, organizing, washing and digitizing tens of thousands of vintage 78 rpm recordings since we received a large donation of the discs from the estate of Cleveland collector, Jack Saul.

Hundreds of boxes containing vintage 78 rpm recordings remain stacked in the hallways while others are being opened by volunteers. The black shellac discs are piled high on work tables for volunteers to sort.

Opening the first box containing Vogue Picture Records caused a commotion that I could hear all the way in my office down the hall. Volunteers had discovered over 20 recordings that were stunningly beautiful. This was the first time any of us had ever seen such lovely artwork embedded within an entire record. “It’s like finding an unexpected treasure,” one of our volunteers told me.

The Recorded Sound Archives has now inventoried 62 different pictures on 32 two-sided 78 rpm discs. The pictures, together with the songs embedded within them, provide a glimpse into the post WWII American pop scene. The recordings feature the big band sounds popular at the time, swing sounds for teenagers, hillbilly/country songs, children’s songs and stories, and reflecting a growing interest in South American culture, Rhumba dance lessons and music with a Latin beat.

Despite Sav-Way’s inability to attract big-name recording talent, these beautiful discs are appealing to collectors who value them as standouts among the drab black shellac records of their day and because the limited number of different titles (74) make them more valuable as a complete set.

Yiddish musical comedy making a comeback?

By , August 5, 2010 1:40 pm

Who said Yiddish Musical Comedy is dead?

Now you can revisit the glory days of the Lower East Side and hear the songs as they were actually sung.

The recordings in this special JSA collection were produced on 78 rpm recordings between 1901 and 1922, at the height of Yiddish Theater’s popularity.

Four stars of Yiddish Musical Comedy are highlighted: Gus Goldstein, Clara Gold, Anna Hoffman and Jacob Jacobs.

Gus Goldstein, an American Yiddish actor of the early 20th century made many recordings for Columbia Records.  This JSA collection features 37 of his solo songs.

He also made recordings with Clara Gold that focused on immigrant issues and Yiddish humor, and featuring Litvak, Galitzianer and Italian dialects. Clara Gold played character roles in the Yiddish Theater and was known for her comedic performances. She partnered with Gus Goldstein from 1916 to 1926. Forty-four of the songs they recorded together are in this collection.

Gus Goldstein also partnered with Anna Hoffman, a well-known comedic singer of her day. This collection includes 7 of their songs. It also features 25 songs that she recorded solo.

Jacob Jacobs was known for adding timely dialogue to his Yiddish comedy acts and translating English songs into Yiddish. This collection includes 12 of his songs recorded between 1909 and 1922. An interesting historical note is that in 1932 he collaborated with composer Sholom Secunda on a Yiddish musical comedy, “I Would If I Could.”  Although the show was not a great success it did produce a song that would later become the #1 hit, Bei Mir Bist du Shon.

If you understand Yiddish, remember Yiddish Theater, or just want a nostalgic journey, you won’t be disappointed. Click here to listen to any of the 14 digitized albums in the collection.

Or select one of these favorites tunes: America, Ich Lieb Dich; Ich bin a boarder by mein viebYente Telebende.

These albums are not available for sale or reproduction but can be heard in their entirety on the JSA website.

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