An interest in Jewish music was awakened in pre-1933 Munich, beginning with Cantor Emanuel Kirschner’s attempt to find the ancient elements of Synagogue chant and eliminating Jwish music's foreign elements. Composer Heinrich Schalit continued Kirschner’s efforts and dedicated all his energy after 1916 to furthering Jewish music. He composed a series of vocal compositions mostly to the words of Rabbi Yehuda Halevy. He avoided the atonality prevalent in the 1920s but his works reveal unique elements some of which prophesize the characteristic Israeli musical style which emerged in the late 1930s. The influence of A. Z. Idelsohn’s work is apparent in Schalit’s “Kabalat Shabbat” his last important piece written in Germany. Schalit believed in the significance of Jewish music to composers of Jewish birth and he persuaded Paul Ben-Haim (Frankenburger) to turn to writing Jewish music. Indeed between 1929 and 1933 Ben Haim composed a series of vocal pieces to Biblical texts and infused his pieces with musical elements from the synaogogue. This change in Ben-Haim’s musical style is significant to the development of his style after his immigration to Israel.
Heinrich Schalit and Paul Ben-Haim in Munich
Articles in Books
Yuval Studies of The Jewish Music Research Centre ( Book )
The Magnes Press, The Hebrew University
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