Thursday, 27 May 2010
And now, for something completely different
This evening I met an amazing man, via some programme notes on the back of a CD. The CD is by the San Antonio Vocal Arts Ensemble (SAVAE) and their music is taken from era of Jerusalem’s Second Temple.
Abraham Zvi Idelsohn was one of the most remarkable musicologists of the 20th century. At the outbreak of World War One, he published the first volume of what was to become the ten volume “Thesaurus of Hebrew Oriental Melodies”. This seminal work, covered the Yemenite community of Palestine, and the Jews of Babylon, Persia, Uzbekistan (Bukharian), Oriental Sephardim, Moroccan, German, Eastern European, Hassidic Jewish communities in Palestine and the Diaspora. It took 20 years to complete.
If you have ever danced around a room singing Hava Nagila, you have AZ Idelsohn to thank for it – he collected the song from the Hassidic community.