Jewgrass

Jewgrass. A combination of American folk bluegrass and Jewish liturgical music.

I have to admit I was really quite skeptical about this combination but Matt Check and his band plays the most incredibly gorgeous and authentic folk music I have heard in years and years.

Jewgrass logo

Joyous and vibrant, simultaneously multi-layered and elegantly simple. The music takes you on a coherent journey of prayer, history, thought and experience. This was a very moving melodious experience with some incredible musicians including the stunning voice of cantor Rachel Brook.

There is a fundraising effort currently underway to make a professional recording of the Bluegrass Kabbalat Shabbat. Go to the Kickstarter campaign for more details and be a part of making this wonderful music more widely available.

Adon Olam + 3 tenors

Very enjoyable; lush and schmaltzy. A real treat.

Click on picture to play.

play 3 tenors

If you’ve noticed a bit of an Adon Olam obsession (see postings here and here), you’re not the only one. I recently realized I’ve had an Adon Olam obsession my whole life, it’s only lately that I’ve been able to indulge it.

I would like to make a separate page with links to different tunes for Adon Olam. I welcome any suggestions.

#Ruth

Baroque Kol Nidre

The composer Handel arrived in London in 1712 and wrote his sublime opera Giulio Cesare in 1724. This was only a short time after Jews had been allowed to return in England starting in 1655 after their explusion in 1290. By this time, historians suggest that the majestic melody of the Ashkenazi tune to Kol Nidre must have been well established. One of the moving and dramatic arias of Giulio Cesare is the funeral oratory of Pompey sung by Cesare “Alma Del Gran Pompeo”. Every time I hear this aria always wonder if Handel was influenced by Kol Nidre.

Listen to this clip from the aria and see if you agree with my feeling of the uncanny similarity. The audio excerpt is taken from the René Jacobs recording of Giulio Cesare. Jennifer Larmore is heard singing the title role of Cesare.

We know so little about the life of Handel, his opinions and his philosophy. However it would appear from his music that he was motivated by universal ethical ideals. I like to entertain the fantasy thought of the great composer sneaking into the synagogue on Yom Kippur to hear Kol Nidre and being as moved by it as we all are and expect to be very shortly.

G’mar Hatima Tova to all!

#Ruth

Adon Olam אֲדוֹן עוֹלָם

Who doesn’t love a fun tune for Adon Olam? This is one of the funnest tunes I have heard recently; the kind of zesty tune that puts you in a good mood and gets you energized.

Click here to listen

I am very grateful to my friend Esther R. for teaching us this tune, for making this wonderful recording and allowing me to share it here. Esther is a true star (אסתר).

Text of Adon Olam (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adon_Olam):

Adon_Olam_text

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