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Joseph A. Levine
Cantor and scholar (JTS, Academy for Jewish Religion)
A Polka Mazurka
Niggun of the Meggid of Mezerich
From the album, "The Hasidic Niggun as Sung by the Hasidim." This dance niggun is the seventh and last in a series of niggunim sung by Bratslav Hasidim as they dance after the Shabbat evening service on Friday night. Some have attributed the niggun to R. Dov Ber, the meggid of Mezerich.
Kol B'ru'ei (Padua, Italy)
From the album, "Italian Jewish Musical Traditions from the Leo Levi Collection (1954-1961)." The poem depicts "all creatures" singing and praising the unity of God, and was recited in the Italian rite during the daily morning prayer. This melody was sung only on Rosh Hashanah (New Year) in the Italian tradition of Padua.
From the album, "Judeo-Carribean Currents, Music of the Mikve Israel-Emanuel Synagogue in Curaçao," performed by Gideon Zelermyer. The Yigdal is part of the ceremonial section of the liturgical order of Shabbat and the Holy Days in the Curaçao synagogue. It is one of the ending hymns of the service.
Eres Chiquita y Bonita
From the album, "Judeo-Spanish Moroccan Songs for the Life Cycle," sung by Alicia Bendayan from Tetuan. This is a song about courtship, related to the Jewish rituals that mark the events of the life cycle.
Sweet Shalt Be My Chant
From the album, "Kulmus Hanefesh," performed by Yair Harel on voice and tar, and Matti Kovler on voice and piano. A sacred hymn attributed to Rabbi Yehuda ha-Chasid, this is a Chabad tune with a near-Eastern arrangement.
From the album, "The Music of the Mountain Jews." Lyr is a genre found among all Turkish peoples, consisting of long, complex compositions usually comprised of three parts.
Gilu ha-Galilim (Rejoice Galileans)
From the album, "Nights in Canaan, Early Songs of the Land of Israel (1882-1946)." This is a Second Aliyah (1904-1914) song which became an integral part of the historical repertoire of Hebrew song. Both native-born and newly arrived pioneers sang this song in all circumstances.
From the album, "With Songs They Respond: The Diwan of the Jews from Central Yemen." This is a girdle poem by Se'adia ben Amram. Saperi Tama is sung to many melodies and is one of Yemenite Jewry's most common poems.