The Forgotten Voice of the Jeruzalémská Synagogue in Prague

The Forgotten Voice of the Jeruzalémská Synagogue in Prague is a unique double CD released by the Jewish Museum in Prague with technical assistance from the Phonogrammarchiv at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. This is a selection of newly discovered recordings by the famous cantor Ladislav Moshe Blum at the Jeruzalémská Synagogue between 1978 and 1983, which have been preserved on 40 cassette tapes in the personal archive of his wife, Terezie (b. 1909). Ladislav Moshe Blum (1911–1994) was the last cantor (prayer-leader, or hazzan in Hebrew) of the pre-war generation, officiating as cantor in this synagogue during the years 1963–1994. He made these amateur recordings in order to preserve the local tradition for future generations. The recordings were made in secret on a cassette recorder as it was inconceivable that he would have received official permission from the Communist authorities at the time. The recordings include famous cantorial compositions, as well as Shabbat and High Holiday services in the synagogue and memorial ceremonies for those who died in Terezín. As such, they document part of the religious and musical life of the Prague Jewish community under the totalitarian regime. This double CD contains a selection of the most representative recordings made by this uniquely talented cantor. It also includes a 60-page booklet (in Czech and English) with information on Cantor Blum's life and on the story behind these recordings, as well as an ethno-musicological commentary and the lyrics of all the songs (also in Hebrew). The previously unknown recordings were discovered by the musicologist Veronika Seidlová. The latter prepared the recordings for release in collaboration with the Phonogrammarchiv and provided the commentary for the booklet with the British ethno-musicologist Alexander Knapp and Cantor Michal Foršt.

Jewish Museum in Prague, 2008
2 x CD, Czech-English, digital, stereo; 1 brochure (62 pp.)

Price: 10,43 €
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