MUSICAL NOTE by Cantor Sherwood Goffin
THE JEWISH SIDE OF BEETHOVEN
When the first Reform temple in Vienna, the Seitstettengasse Synagogue, was about to be dedicated, the trustees in 1824 asked Beethoven to write a cantata for the dedication. Ludwig eventually declined to do so, but it seems that he did spend some time studying Jewish traditional music. Added to the fact that he was dating a Jewish woman at that time (which was eventually stopped by her parents), Beethoven must have absorbed a goodly amount of Jewish music. So much so, that shortly afterwards, his String Quartet in C-Sharp Minor. no.XIV, op. 131, was written and performed in Berlin. In its Adagio Movement there are the unmistakable strains of Kol Nidre! I have listened to it many times and I am convinced - as was the great music expert, Emil Breslaur- that this was a direct result (in part) of his dual association with the young lady, and primarily because of the original invitation proffered to him by the Jewish Community of Berlin.
DAVEN WELL, DON’T TALK, BUT SING ALONG!
© 2008 Sherwood Goffin and LSS
Updated: city and year. 20F08