Over at the Klezmer Shack, Ari's on a roll with lots of CD recommendations.
Is Mizrachi music in trouble?
The Jewish Week reviews a number of CD's including Shlomo Katz's latest.
Speaking of the JW, here's a Letter to the Editor by Harriet Goren:
I was saddened by your headline for the article “Fighting Sing-Along Services” (Page 3, Nov. 10) as well as by comments of participants in The Art of Synagogue Music conference.Dag comments on the new Chevra!
I agree that a cantorial or choir solo can transport spirits to amazing heights. But so can “singing along,” joining together in strength with other voices and participating fully in prayer rather than waiting for an expert do all the work. Judaism, after all, is about action. Most synagogues in this country offer an experience of congregational prayer by proxy, as if the chazan alone was qualified to speak to God. No wonder attendance at services continues to decline and havurot, small lay-led groups, proliferate: everyone’s voice counts in a havurah.
Participatory music need not be “lowest common denominator,” as composer Jack Gottlieb asserts; witness the thousands who attend services each week at Manhattan’s Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and raise their non-trained, non-expert voices in melodies that are eminently singable as well as aesthetically sophisticated.
The answer to creating a more meaningful and challenging prayer experience is not to discourage participation for fear of making unpleasant sounds, but rather concentrate efforts on developing music that will, in its beauty and relevance, encourage us to raise our voices as one.
Nisht kein Godol comments on the Dei'ah VeDibbur article we recently blogged.
Hirhurim plugs "Gerstner cubed!"