Prof. André Hajdu, one of the first JMRC researchers, has joined forces with Cantor Asher Hainovitz of the Yeshurun Central Synagogue in Jerusalem to put together a selection of hazzanut pieces and Yiddish songs in new arrangements for voice and piano by Hajdu. Using a technique that recalls the way romantic composers interpreted literary texts (in this case liturgical texts and Yiddish poems) in their music, Hajdu offers a fresh and sensitive reading of Ashkenazi hazzanut pieces by applying to them contemporary compositional techniques. The present production was initiated by the Ron Shulamit Conservatory in Jerusalem, and marks the 50th anniversary of the JMRC. It is the best gift we could offer to enthusiasts of Ashkenazi hazzanut and to all those who have an interest in Jewish music.
Raza Deshabbat is the second part of a kabbalist Aramaic text that begins with the words Kegavna deinnun mityahadim le'eila "Just as they unite up above," from the Zohar. The hasidim read this Aramaic text on Sabbath eve, and regard it as a bridge between the daily afternoon prayer and Kabbalat Shabbat (the Service of Welcoming the Sabbath). This rendition was composed by Russian/American cantor Pierre Pinchik (1895-1971).
This is a comical song about Noah, hero of the Biblical Great Flood, and his fondness for a stiff drink. The text was written by A. Almi (pen name of Eliyahu-Chaim Sheps, 1892-1968), a member of the Warsaw Jewish folklore researchers' circle, whose members were inspired by the work of I. L. Peretz.