Sunday, January 18, 2009

Impressions of Synagogue Services

MUSICAL NOTE By Cantor Sherwood Goffin
Guest columnist: Cantor Macy Nulman

In describing a service of the Synagogue where the Viennese cantor Solomon Sulzer and his choir officiated. Franz Liszt wrote in his work The Gipsies, “Seldom were we so deeply stirred by emotion as on that evening, so shaken that our soul was entirely given to meditation and to participation in the service.”

Ernest Bloch, in a letter (4/5/1918) to his mother about a Hassidic service he attended on the Lower East Side of New York wrote, “And what music! Neither organ, nor instruments, nor choir. Everyone his own orchestra. I heard the most bizarre things: Chants, surely 3000 or more years old... Everything was vibrant, living, creating an extraordinary atmosphere. I dissolved with emotion. I was ashamed-ashamed to be so far away from the truth! Proud however still to be part of it.

from “Concepts in Jewish Music” by M. Nulman

Daven well and sing along!

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