Sunday, March 28, 2010

Jewish Music Comes to Life in Yad Vashem Synagogue

Last week I was privileged to hear a very special choral concert in the Yad Vashem Synagogue. The Synagogue, a monument to all the Syngogues destroyed in the Holocaust, and filled with Judaica rescued from destroyed synagogues in Europe, was a fitting stage for The "Leipziger Synagogalchor" to perfom. The choir, comprised of non-professional musicians with some professional training, was joined in their performance by two soloists who are singers with various opera houses in Liegpzig, Berlin, and Zurich.

The Choir's 26 non-Jewish members devote their work to 19th and 20th century synagogue music and Yiddish and Hebrew Folklore songs. The songs, all sung with traditional Ashekanazic (German) pronounciation, aim to preserve a vibrant cultural heritage. The choir is committed to reviving and disseminating Jewish muisc in Germany and across Europe.

The moving melodies ranged from traditional tunes like Ma tovu (How goodly are your tents, O Jacob- a traditional prayer said the synagogue) and Leach Dodi (Come my beloved, sung to welcome the Sabbath eve) to Yiddish and other folklore tunes.

The Syngagogue, overflowing in capacity - with an audience ranging in age from young teens to Holocaust Survivors - was filled with the music of Jewish tradition.

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