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Avodat Shabbat (Schwarz, Rsob, Ernst Senff Chor, Brubaker) CD


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£7.71 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

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1. Orchestral Prelude
2. Ma Tovu
3. L'kha Dodi
4. Tov L'hodot (Psalm 92)
5. Orchestral Prelude
6. The 23rd Psalm
7. Bar'khu
8. Ahavat Olam
9. Sh'ma Yisra'el
10. V'ahavta
11. Mi Khamokha
12. Orchestral Interlude
13. V'sham'ru
14. Hashkivenu
15. Orchestral Interlude
16. Yih'yu L'ratzon
17. Kiddush
18. Adoration
19. Va'anahnu
20. Orchestral Interlude
See all 22 tracks on this disc

Product Description

NAX 8559430; NAXOS - Germania;

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Amazon.com: 1 review
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TWO ENTHUSIASTIC THUMBS UP FOR A MODERN MASTERPIECE 27 July 2004
By J. T Waldmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Synagogues throughout America would probably be full to overflowing every Shabbat if music such as Berlinski's "Avodat Shabbat" or the Bloch Sacred Service ("Avodath Hakodesh") or Milhaud's "Service Sacre" were regularly performed. Alas, however, not even the most affluent congregations can afford to muster the forces required for these works on a continuing basis. Therefore, we shall have to be satisfied with recordings and the occasional inclusion of these works in the programs of our major orchestras.

I'm tempted to say: "Trust me. Just go out and buy this CD. You'll be glad you did." It's without question my favorite of the sixteen Milken Archive recordings I have heard thus far. It's truly a modern masterpiece (a Washington Post critic termed it "conservatively romantic"), written with understanding of the human voice and instrumental color and texture. (That same critic described it as "texturally luxuriant and exotic.") It's almost perfect in its structure, and really should be performed more often than it is. Perhaps this recording will help change that.

Like many of the composers in this series, Herman Berlinski (1910-2001) escaped the oppression and gas chambers of the Nazi regime and came to America. Unlike many of the other emigres, however, he did not go to Hollywood and write film scores. Instead, he settled in New York where he was introduced to ". . . the small but intensely committed coterie of Jewish music intellectuals." He gained international reputation as a classical organist and earned his doctoral degree in composition from the Jewish Theological Seminary. Although he has written a number of choral and instrumental works, very few are available on CD. Of his work, Berlinski has said: "I don't think I can write a piece of music, no matter what I do and what I will try, that does not have the stamp of my Jewish experience."

"Avodat Shabbat" -- an ambitious work for orchestra, chorus, vocal soloists -- is a setting of the Friday evening Sabbath service, according to the Reform movement's Union Prayer Book. (Bloch and Milhaud wrote their compositions for the Saturday morning service.) After an orchestral introduction, the Cantor intones the "Ma Tovu" (How lovely are your dwellings, O House of Israel), and the first five notes he sings will reappear throughout the composition, ultimately returning as the final notes fade away in the orchestra.

In between there is amazing writing for all elements: a gorgeous duet for flute and soprano ("The 23rd Psalm"): the "V'ahavta" wherein the tenor, accompanied by organ, chants in Hebrew, using authentic cantillation, while the chorus responds a-capella in English in a totally different polyphonic style; etc. Each of the twenty-two tracks could be singled out because of their uniqueness and their beauty.

Berlinski was present at this April 2000 world-premiere recording. He must have been very proud. The Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin and Ernst Senff Chor perform wondrously for conductor Gerald Schwarz. (No haggling with this choir's English or Hebrew pronunciation.) All three soloists are excellent, with particular praise to tenor Robert Brubaker. His is a glorious instrument - and he was born in Pennsylvania!

Amazing piece of music. Great recording.
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