Comprehensive site on Jewish Liturgical Music (chazzanut), with a
large collection of cantorial music scores, midi sound, annotated links
and background information.
You can now read no less than 37 articles on
chazzanut, describing the accomplishments of many important cantors and
composers, from Samuel Alman to Samuel Vigoda.
Solomon Rozumni (1866-1904) was one of the
famous cantors in Odessa, noted for his capability to improvise
We are very grateful to Jeff Forman, who scanned Rozumni's beautiful
collection of recitatives, and made it possible to present this
important material online.
I am delighted that the musical heritage of cantor Abraham Katz (1881-1930) is finally accessible by the
public at large. The manuscript (83pp, 1915) is a treat to look at.
You can listen to a midi of Birkat Kohanim
I've made several mp3 recordings of Dutch
Nusach, together with an elucidation. Nusach is the collection of
traditional, melodic patterns used to recite the different Jewish
prayers. It forms a central part of synagogue music.
You can listen to a mp3 of the Dutch wedding Kaddish (1.7M);
it's a variant of the Minchah Kaddish of Yom Kippur. It comes from a
private gramophone recording by the late Amsterdam chief cantor Bentsion
For the first time since 1928, the famous Recitative Book (39pp) of cantor Yossele Rosenblatt (1882-1933) is again
available, now on my web site. I hope that this project will enable many
people to fully enjoy the fascinating recitatives of the uncrowned King of
You can listen to a mp3 of his Shir Hama'alot
(2.8M), or a midi of his Hasheim
Malakh and his Veshameru no
Some notes and references concerning the background of Bruch's
arrangement of Kol Nidrei.
Sam Englander (1896--Sobibor 1943) was according to the well-known Dutch
conductor Fred Roeske one of his most talented pupils. Englander
achieved great triumphs as choir master of the Great Synagogue in
Amsterdam. In 1928, his choir had been elected best Synagogue choir of
Europe by the Jewish Chronicle.
Englander composed and arranged numerous pieces. Sadly, most of his work
got lost during the war. All that remains is a booklet with Piano
Arrangements of well-known Jewish melodies (1931), and his most
important composition, Ahavti, for the Halleil prayer. Both are now
available at Chazzanut Online.
Listen to a midi representation of his
Kol Nidrei and
A number of chazzanim endeavoured to transcribe the characteristic Dutch
synagogue tunes. Two of those collections were
printed and are now available here.
The first collection (1861) consists of a transcription of the
traditional melodies for the Priestly Blessings, arranged for 2-part
The second collection (1924) contains various tunes that were published
in a Dutch prewar weekly.
Listen to the Passover (Addir Hu) and
Shavuot (Akdamut) motive
for the Priestly Blessings.
Isaac Heymann (1829-1906) was arguably the most important of all Dutch
chazzanim. Unfortunately, although he left behind a complete oevre of
Jewish choral music in a manuscript ready-to-print, only four of his "psalms for men's choir" were printed (1899). He
proudly published these scores with a dedication to Queen Wilhelmina in
gold script. The booklet contains enthusiastic reviews by some of the
leading Dutch musicians of that time, after whom by now streets in
Amsterdam are named.
Listen to Heymann's
psalm 117 and
The best way to appreciate chazzanut is to listen to it.
Therefore I compiled a discography
of Dutch chazzanut.
"Ma'oz Tsur" is without any doubt the most popular
Chanuka song. Did you know that the "Ma'oz Tsur" tune
by many considered to be "traditional," is of German descent?
Did you know that there exist several other melodies for it,
as well as another related liturgical poem?
Read and listen further.
I collected and reproduced 110pp of articles, expositions and interviews
concerning Chazzanut and Jewish music, that were published in Dutch
prewar weeklies, mainly in "The Friday Evening." I added a complete
listing of sources.
If you have anything to comment on this site, or any questions
regarding Jewish music in general, feel free to participate in our
Annotated references to other important
Jewish music resources
online, such as music libraries and directories.
Annotated references to interesting
Jewish music articles on other websites.
A list of websites devoted to persons
in the world of Jewish music.
Websites loosely related to music, Jewish issues
In case you're curious, here's some information
For this non-commercial site the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana granted
permission to include items belonging to their collection. Reproduction
of these items are subject to authorisation by the Bibliotheca
Rosenthaliana, Amsterdam University Library.
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