Tradition - Traditionelle jødiske sange procd011
Traditionelle jødiske sange sunget af berømte cantors. Sjældne 70 år gamle optagelser digitalt rensede, så de fremstår helt nye.
The cantors on this cd were among the greatest of their time. The superb quality of their voices and their virtuosity was admired and respected equally by Jews and non-Jews, as were also the numerous recordings they made.
The old cantors (Chazzen) were trained professional singers who assisted the rabbis in religious services. Unlike the chanting or singsong of the ordinary Jew in prayer, they sang long passages of the liturgy, virtuoso singing with falsettos, which were soft and sweet to hear. The melodies were not written down but known by heart and differed depending on whether it was an ordinary service or a special occasion such as Passover or the New Year. Hebrew scholars disliked secular songs sung in Yiddish, but this so-called jargon has been the recognized language of the Jews throughout the world.
Mostly the cantors came from Eastern Europe, usually Russia or Poland where they sang in the synagogues. Many of them became well known internationally due to their recordings of traditional Yiddish songs, such as the ones on this cd.
The old cantors helped to spearhead a revival of music among Eastern European Jews. Music provided them with a way to get away from the ghettos, to have a career, to travel and maybe win fame and fortune and be respected in an otherwise inhospitable Gentile world.
Some of the traditional Yiddish songs reflect the hard times faced by Jewish people in Russia and Poland during the time of the Czars, many of the lyrics are biting in their observations, yet at the same time there is also much typical Yiddish humour. Those who cannot understand a word of Hebrew or Yiddish will be still able to sense the pathos and humour of the lyrics and will certainly enjoy the excellence of the voices and the melodies. It is fortunate that modern technology has made it possible to preserve the old cantors voices and thus enable younger generations to hear the music that brought so much joy to their forefathers. BIOGRAPHIES
YOSEF (YOSSELE) ROSENBALTT was born on May 2 1882 in Biela Tzerkov, in the Ukraine. His father was a cantor in Kiev. Yossele was very young when he began to sing and soon became known as a “wunderkind” throughout the Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1912 he went to America where he quickly became famous. He made numerous recordings including many of his own compositions. He died of a heart attack on June 19 1933 aged only 51.
BERELE CHAGY was born on July 25 1892 in Dagda, Latvia. His father was a cantor and when only nine he accompanied him in singing and praying. He emigrated to the States in 1913 and had congregations in New York, Detroit and Boston. He died suddenly in 1954. (Actor Danny Kaye was one of his students).
MORDECHAY HERSHMAN was born in 1888 in Cherinov, Russia. His father, who died when Mordechay was only six, did not share his son’s love for singing. For a while Mordechay lived with foster parents but when he was twelve he was adopted by his grandfather who allowed him to study music. In 1918 he sang throughout Russia, Europe and the States. He was greatly admired especially for hi version of “N’gidim Un Kabtzonim”. He died in 1940 aged only 53.
The legendary GERSHON SIROTA was born in 1873 in Warsaw. He was known as the “Jewish Caruso”. It is said that Caruso would come to hear him sing whenever they were in the same town and that he considered Sirota to be a better singer. Between 1912 and 1927 he gave “sold out” concerts all over America and Europe. Unfortunately he was in Warsaw when the Germans attacked Poland in 1939. He could easily have left but decided to stay there with his family. They all died in the Warsaw Jewish Ghetto during the 1943 uprising. Gershon was at the top of the Old World cantors and was probably the first one to make recordings on cylinders in 1902.