- Liturgical Psalms (18) for chorus & organ
16.99 In Stock
To the casual listener, the psalm settings on this release are warm and attractive but not remarkable. They are for choir, accompanied by organ and sometimes adorned by solos, and if one had to guess the composer, Mendelssohn would be a reasonable choice. Delve into the history of the music a bit more, however, and its importance becomes clear. The music has never been recorded before and was largely reconstructed here from early editions. Louis (or Lazarus) Lewandowski was a Polish-born German Jew who was supported by Alexander Mendelssohn (cousin to Felix), who set out to reform Jewish liturgical music, with the result that these psalm settings were quite radical for their time. They were in German, for one thing, and they included an organ, which was not used in Jewish music of that era. The psalms were dedicated to King Ludwig II of Bavaria "in deepest respect," and they are still sung today in Jewish congregations. They are not really a fusion of Christian and Jewish styles, except that the psalm is a characteristic Jewish genre. The performances by the Hungarian Radio Choir under Andor Izsák are fine specimens of Romantic choral music, and the album is of considerable interest to students of Jewish music and its history.