The Birthday of the World, Music and Traditions of the High Holy Days
Part I: Rosh Hashanah

Leonard Nimoy, Guest Narrator
Sung by The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble and Guest Choir

Part I of the two-part series devoted to the rich and profound musical and spiritual traditions of the Jewish High Holy Days.

An important focus of the program is to document the performance of certain prayers in the traditional style of cantor and “meshorerim” (singers who provide improvised accompaniment). This unique style, along with the great literature of the choral service, may not last much longer, as choirs are increasingly being eliminated from synagogues, to be replaced by organs and synthesizers, and by pop-style tunes. The Western Wind is thus providing a valuable service in helping to preserve and renew a significant element of the Jewish cultural heritage.

“Sung by The Western Wind vocal ensemble with outstanding cantors backed by accomplished mesharim (improvisational singers), this is an ideal Rosh Hashanah service. Comprised of major prayers drawn from traditions ancient and modern, Sephardic and Eastern European, with a splendid narration by Leonard Nimoy, the performance is outstanding for the beauty of its artistry.” —Joan Schwartz Michel, Hadassah Magazine

Track List (click to download samples):

1. Rosh Hashanah Nusach – traditional, arr. Lazar

3. Ma Tovu – Lewandowski (Cantor: Charles Osborne)
Tik’u – traditional

5. Shechecheyanu – Machtenberg (Cantor: Alberto Mizrahi) (.mp3) or (.mov)

7. Zochreinu – folk melody, arr. Levine (.mp3) or (.mov)

9. Adonoy, Adonoy – Helfman (Cantor: Faith Steinsnyder) (.mp3) or (.mov)
Va’ani S’filosi, from The Holy Ark – Helfman

11. Hineni –  adap. from Silverman (Cantor: Mizrahi) (.mp3) or (.mov)

13. Ki Keshimcho – Lewandowski (Cantor: Osborne)

15. V’Chol Ma’aminim – Secunda

17. Shofar – traditional
Hayom Harat Olam – Wohl (Cantor: Jacob Mendelson) (.mp3) or (.mov)
Areshet Seifateinu – Melody by Rosenblatt arr. Levine

19. V’al Y’dei – Kaminsky (Cantor: Gurney, boy alto: Daniel Mendelson)

21. B’seyfer Chayim – folk melody, arr. Levine (.mp3) or (.mov)

23. Hayom T’amtzeinu – Zalis arr. Western Wind/Lazar (Cantor: Mendelson) (.mp3) or (.mov)

[Narration tracks are 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22]

Price: $14.95

Also available on cassette for $5.95