Lost & Found: Ashira Ladonai (Sing Unto The Lord), arranged by Erwin Jospe

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Lost & Found: Ashira Ladonai (Sing Unto The Lord), arranged by Erwin Jospe

Cantor David Berger

ERWIN JOSPE is probably not the first name that comes to mind when you think about Jewish music - but his life story and compositional output are more than deserving of our attention and admiration. Born in 1903 in Berlin, Jospe was the editor of Hawa Naschira: Auf! Lasst uns Singen (1935 and reissued in 2001), the last publication of Jewish music in Europe prior to the Holocaust.

In America, Jospe was Professor of Music and Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, though this piece was written before that, when he was the music director at the Anshe Emet Synagogue in Chicago. In Ashira Ladonai, Jospe takes a simple old-time "Oriental Melody" similar to that larger body of music that used to be called "Palestinian Folk Songs" and spins it out into a truly exciting choral anthem.

This is the kind of piece that begs for a big ensemble to give voice to its full bodied dramatic writing. There are brilliant moments of harmonic genius with delicious chords that hit just right, and particularly powerful here is Jospe's use of choral unison. The piano part is high impact and is a great feature for a talented pianist. This is a fantastic concert opener or closer and will be an emotional and energetic highlight for audience and choir alike!  SATB Choir and Keyboard

Ashira Ladonai (Sing Unto The Lord), arranged by Erwin Jospe.

Cantor David Berger is the Cantor of KAM Isaiah Israel Congregation in Chicago, IL.