A Wonderful Compendium of Cantorial Classics
Ben Avraham | St. Louis, MO | 06/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This CD contains a wonderful assortment of cantorial classics performed by one of the 20th century's acknowledged masters of the art. Chazzan Miller infuses each selection with tremendous vocal color and shading reflective of the text, and the symphonic arrangements are marvelously performed by the the orchestras and their directors (they include the Barcelona Symphony, the Vienna Chamber Orchestra, and the Oxford Philomusica with Eli Jaffe, Jorge Mester, and Marios Papadopoulos conducting).There are times when Chazzan Miller's voice seems a bit strained at the top of his range; this may be due to age (late 50s or early 60's), or perhaps a reflection of the recording schedule or sequence. Nevertheless, he is always in control and the spiritual quality of his singing more than compensates for the occasional technical flaws. This is chazzanut, not opera, though his vocal ability clearly rivals that of many operatic tenors.The notes on the composers (cantors themselves) are copious, and bear close reading as they convey a tremendous amount of information about the roots and development of the cantorial "Golden Age" in America. The translations of the selections are also included.This CD is a must for serious afficionados of the cantorial art, and provides a hearty introduction to this genre for the previously uninitiated. Highly recommended!"