Synagogal art music prior to the Emancipation (17th-18th centuries), from Italy, Amsterdam and Southern France. Contains works by: Salamone Rossi, Carlo Grossi, Volunio Gallichi, Francesco Drei, and anonymous composers (Italy); Abraham Caceres, Cristiano G. Lidarti (Amsterdam); and Louis Saladin (Southern France). Recorded on a live concert held in Jerusalem on August 3, 1978, in association with the World Congress on Jewish Music, The Israel Festival and the Israel Broadcasting Authority. Performers: The Cameran Singers, Chamber ensemble and soloists under the direction of Avner Itai; Gila Yaron, soprano; Mirah Zakai, alto; Nigel Rogers and Louis Garb, tenors; Willy Haparnas, baritone; Valery Maisky, cembalo; Ehud Leibner, narrator. Accompanied by English program notes, and Hebrew text with English translation.
1st edition (1978) was published and released as a cassette.
This is the last of eight double-choirs for 8 voices featured in Rossi's "Ha-shirim asher li-shelomoh". The literary species of echo-poems was widespread in Italian Hebrew literature of this period and we know of several references to musical settings of such poems. In Rossi's setting the role of the second choir is reduced to assume the "echo" nearly throughout the whole piece.
On the night of a Jewish holy day - the Hoshana Rabbah vigil (as revealed in the 6th stanza) - a passer-by is surprised at the spectacle of a group of people chanting hymns to the glory of God and "redoubling" in joy and fervour. They belong to the "Watchers of the Dawn" fraternity as the final verse clearly shows. He questions them about the reason for their ethusiasm. The members of the confraternity reply and the dialogue between the solo voice (the passer-by) and the choir ("Watchers of the Dawn") tells us that hey are celebrating the anniversary of the foundation of their confratenity.