Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Western Wind Vocal Ensemble|
Birthday of the World Rosh Hashanah
Genres: Folk, Special Interest, Classical, Broadway & Vocalists
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Rabbi Yonassan Gershom | Minnesota, USA | 09/07/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD is volume 1 of a two-volume set (each sold separately -- volume 2 is for Yom Kippur). It was originally produced for Public Radio International in 1995, and not only features the voices of Western Wind Ensemble & Chorus, but also has guest cantors Alberto Mizrachi, Faith Steinsnyder Guerney, Jacob ben Zion Mendelson, and Charles Osborne. It's narrated by Leonard Nimoy, who is best known for playing Spock on Star Trek, but who also has a deep and abiding love for his Jewish heritage, which shines through in this performance. Together, this gathering of male and female voices is a feast for the soul. Unlike many Jewish holiday albums which come across as mere concerts, this one has the feel of a genuine Rosh Hashanah service. For one thing, it's done a capella, just as it would be on the holy day itself, when musical instruments are not used (except for the shofar, or ceremonial ram's horn, which is included on the CD). And it includes some of the longer prayers, such as the complete "Hineni" and "Ha Yom Harat Olam." (In consideration of those who feel the Name of God should not be pronounced except in real worship, the Name is rendered "Adomai", with an "M" instead of an "N.") Each liturgical piece is introduced by Nimoy, reading an inspirational script written by Rabbi Gerold Skolnik. These introductions set the proper mood and make the spirit of the service accessible even to those listeners who don't know any Hebrew. The narrations are recorded on separate tracks so, if you just want to listen to the music, you can program your CD player to skip the commentaries. (There's even a note on the back cover suggesting this possibility!) I really like that feature, because narrated albums do tend to get tedious after a while. This one lets you learn the lessons in the first few listenings, then skip them to just enjoy the music. The CD is over a hour long, and comes with notes on the meaning of each liturgical piece, as well as background info on the performers and composers. A wonderful way to prepare yourself for Rosh Hashanah, the Birthday of the World."