title: Adon Olam (Master of the Universe)

composer: Kenneth Lampl

publisher: ken@kenlampl.com

catalogue number:

voicing: SATB , divisi

accompaniment: a cappella

language: Hebrew

text: Synagogue liturgy

year of composition:

timing: 5:10

recordings: Zamir – From Boston to Berlin

level of difficulty: moderate

service: any

description: A touching setting of the text, evoking the cosmic sense of the lyrics. Lampl composes in a contemporary style, largely homophonic, with lush chords and lots of divisi (a la Whitaker)..

title: Adon Olam (Master of the Universe)

composer: Salamone Rossi

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 982045

voicing: SATB SATB

accompaniment: a cappella

language: Hebrew

text: Solomon Ibn Gabirol

year of composition: 1622 (published)

timing: 2:10

recordings: Rossi

level of difficulty: moderate (8 parts)

service: any

description: Salamone Rossi, a Jewish composer working in the Gonzaga court in Mantua at the beginning of the seventeenth century, composed the only substantial collection of polyphonic music for the synagogue to appear before the nineteenth century. “Adon Olam” is a majestic motet in eight parts, utilizing cori spezzati.

 

title: Adon Olam (Master of the Universe)

composer: Robert Stern    

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 991297

voicing: SA

accompaniment: piano (optional handbells)

language: Hebrew

text: synagogue liturgy

year of composition: c. 1990

timing: 3:15

recordings: Naxos 8.559406

level of difficulty: challenging

service: any

description: An effervescent setting for women’s chorus of Ibn Gabirol’s liturgical hymn.

 

title: Adonai Ro’i (The Lord Is My Shepherd)

composer: Gerald Cohen   

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 993121 (unison version is 991440)

voicing: SATB (S solo) (or unison)

accompaniment: piano

language: Hebrew

text: Psalm 23

year of composition: SATB version in 2001

timing: 3:45

recordings:

level of difficulty: moderate

service: funeral

description: Originally composed for a friend’s funeral, Cohen’s composition has a sweet and tender quality. It should be sung with lyrical phrasing and delicacy of expression.

 

title: Al HaNissim (For the Miracles)

composer: Dov Frimer (arranged by Joshua Jacobson and Hankus Netsky)

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 991306

voicing: SATB, div

accompaniment: piano (and optional clarinet or full klezmer band)

language: Hebrew

text: liturgy for Chanukah

year of composition: 1989 (arrangement)

timing: 2:10

recordings: Lights

level of difficulty: moderate

service: Chanukah

description: This joyous setting of a few words from a Chanukah prayer is in a lively “klezmer” idiom. The lyrics thank God for His miracles. The music is not difficult, but does require sustained energy, especially from the basses who are required to sing forte marcato in the top of their register.

title: American Kedushah, An

composer: Alice Parker     

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 993125

voicing: SATB (S and T soli)

accompaniment: a cappella

language: Hebrew and English

text: Sabbath morning service

year of composition: 1999

timing: 10:30

recordings: Jewish Composers in America

level of difficulty: challenging

service: Shabbat morning

description: Parker composed this setting on commission from the American Guild of Organists. Other than one traditional Ashkenazic melody (ve’enenu tir’ena), the work is completely original, a lyrical and dramatic setting of the Jewish sanctification of God’s name.

title: Avinu Malkeynu (Our Father, Our King)

composer: Max Janowski

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 986203

voicing: SATB, T solo

accompaniment: piano (or organ)

timing: 3:20

language: Hebrew

text:  synagogue liturgy

year of composition: 1967

recordings: RCA 77388, Sony 66181

level of difficulty: moderate

service: Yom Kippur or any fast day

description: Janowski’s affinity for the Eastern European styles of synagogue music is apparent in this setting of the penitential prayer, “Avinu Malkeynu” (“Our Father, Our King”). The soloist’s line, in the Aeolian mode, is replete with melismatic ornaments. In the traditional manner, the choir alternatively gives the cantor harmonic support or repeats the main melodic ideas. The keyboard part (piano or organ) is not technically demanding, but is of great interest in its exploration of various colorful modal harmonies.

title: Enosh Kechotzir Yomov (Human Life is Brief)

composer: Louis Lewandowski

publisher: Broude Brothers

catalogue number: CR 65

voicing: SATB

accompaniment: organ

language: Hebrew (English alternate)

text: Psalm 103:15 - 17

year of composition: c. 1882

timing: 4:30

recordings: The Majesty of Holiness, The Songs Live On

level of difficulty: moderate

service: funeral

description: One of Lewandowski’s most moving compositions, this work, written for a memorial service, describes the ephemeral nature of human life in poignant tones. Similar in style to Mendelssohn. An orchestration is available from Transcontinental Publications.

title: Ets Chayim Hi (It Is a Tree of Life)

composer: Robbie Solomon

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 993171

voicing: SATB

accompaniment: (optional piano)

language: Hebrew

text: liturgy

year of composition:

timing:

recordings:

level of difficulty: easy to moderate

service: Torah service

description: A sweet setting of the liturgy that ends the Torah service. “The Torah is a tree of life to all those who cling to her.”

title: Half Kaddish (Santification, shorter form)

composer: Jack Gottlieb

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 983012

voicing: SATB

accompaniment: piano (or brass ensemble)

language: Aramaic (or English)

text: liturgy

year of composition:

timing: 2:15

recordings: Jewish Composers in America

level of difficulty: challenging

service: any

description: An energetic setting of the Jewish doxology by Leonard Bernstein’s musical assistant. The driving Bernsteinian rhythms give this composition an exciting edge. The modes are somewhat challenging, as is the rapid articulation of the text.

 

title:  Hal’luhu (Praise Him)

composer: Benjie-Ellen Schiller

publisher: Transcontinental

catalogue number: 991280

voicing: SATB (solo soprano)

accompaniment: piano or guitar and tof (hand drum)

language: Hebrew

text: Psalm 150

year of composition: c. 1987

timing: 2:40

recordings: Jewish Composers in America

level of difficulty: moderate

service: any morning service + Rosh HaShanah Musaf

description: This vibrant setting of Psalm 150 has syncopated horah-like rhythms, mixed meter, and an exotic Mixolydian modality.

 

title: Halleluyah

composer: Salamone Rossi

publisher: Broude Brothers

catalogue number: CR-25

voicing: SATB

accompaniment: a cappella

timing:  2:30

language: Hebrew (alternate English)

text: Psalm 146

year of composition: 1982

recordings: ROSSI (HZ-910)

level of difficulty: moderate

service: any morning service

description: Salamone Rossi (c. 1570 - c.1630) was a Mantuan violinist and composer in the employ of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga. He was also the first composer to publish a collection of polyphonic motets for the synagogue. The thirty-three motets, set for three to eight voices, include psalms, hymns and prayers for synagogue services or for sacred concerts. “Halleluyah” is included in the liturgy for Sabbath and festival morning services. Rossi’s setting is largely homophonic, similar in style to church music composed by his Christian colleagues.

 

title: Halleluyoh

composer: Drechsler, Joseph

publisher: Broude Brothers

catalogue number: CR 64

voicing: satb

accompaniment: a cappella

language: Hebrew (optional English text)

text: Psalm 150

year of composition: c. 1865

timing: 1:40

recordings: The Majesty of Holiness

level of difficulty: moderate

service: any morning service + Rosh HaShanah Musaf

description: Salomon Sulzer, the famed cantor of the Seitentettengasse Synagogue in Vienna for most of the nineteenth century, commissioned this work from Joseph Drechsler, the renowned kappelmeister of St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The music is succinct but charming, homophonic and rather easy to master.

 

title: Halleluyoh

composer: Louis Lewandowski

publisher: Broude Brothers

catalogue number: CR-74

voicing: SATB

accompaniment: organ (or piano)

language: Hebrew or English

text: Psalm 150

year of composition: ca. 1882

timing: 2:40

recordings: The Majesty of Holiness

level of difficulty: moderate

service: any morning service + Rosh HaShanah Musaf

description: A majestic anthem by the famed choirmaster of the Oranienburgerstrasse synagogue in Berlin, this rousing work has long been a favorite.