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Milken Archive - The First S'lihot / Benzion Miller

Release Date: 08/17/2004 
Label:  Naxos   Catalog #: 8559428-29   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Leib GlantzTraditionalJoshua LindTodros Greenberg,   ... 
Performer:  Ira BigeleisenBenzion Miller
Conductor:  Neil Levin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Hebraeica
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 57 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

A major Jewish and musical event, this unique recording of a complete s'lichot service includes all of the prayers traditionally performed by cantor and all-male choir on the first penitential service, usually held at midnight in preparation for the High Holy Days. Featuring world-famous Cantor Benzion Miller and the Schola Hebraeica, this complete s'lichot service has been recorded in London's historic orthodox New West End Synagogue to the highest standards of liturgical and musical authenticity. Comprehensive liner notes and translations are included.

“The performers reminded me of the best music in my temple. I think the music extraordinarily beautiful... The performances are as good as you’re likely to hear. Neil Levin’s
Read more Schola Hebraica produces a beautiful Mannerchor sonority and supports the cantor with great musicianship.” — Steve Schwartz, ClassicalCDReview.com (August 2005)

“Every now and then a CD comes along that challenges my vocabulary in search for superlatives. Such a CD [is this one]... The accompanying booklet is a gem in itself. It is a model of what a booklet can and should be...all expertly written by Mr. Levin... What all this means for the listener is that every effort was made to show that all that modern scholarship can do to prepare as well as instruct the listener for what he/she is going to hear was done. The booklet alone is a worthy addition to anyone’s library. As for the performers, Cantor Miller is a marvelous hazzan in the Orthodox tradition. His command of vocal melismas, ornamentation, is incredible. He is veritably a hazzan’s hazzan. For most listeners he would be the attraction. Fortunately, he is not alone. A special and equal place of honor goes to the all-male choir and their conductor, Mr. Levin. The choir is balanced, their intonation impeccable, and they make full use of the dynamic spectrum. Their piano (soft) is really piano, and their crescendo is simply thrilling to hear. They add much, not only to the musicality of the prayers but to the religious aspects of the music as well. If you are familiar with the Orthodox musical tradition and are also a lover of hazzanut, these CDs are for you. If, on the other hand, you are not acquainted with this tradition and style of music, these CDs will be a pleasant eye opener for you. They are the best of what can be found in that genre of music as well as of the performance and interpretation of that music. I cannot praise the performers enough. To state that these CDs are highly recommended would be too much of an understatement.” — Morton Gold, Jewish Post and Opinion (Indianapolis, Indiana) (April 20, 2005)

“[This recording shows] the thrilling, resilient, pure-toned voice of Cantor Benzion Miller to excellent effect supported by the tautly disciplined and rich-hued choral sound under [Neil] Levin’s stirring direction. Throughout the authentic cantorial solos of Benzion Miller are impressive, enhanced by powerful vibrato, trilling, and abalance of operatic tone and rhapsodic ‘nusach’ (chant melody). The effect is like a synagogue service, with ideally balanced choir and virtuoso chazzan, and some talented boy treble solos. The quality of performance and recording, the integrity of the repertoire as well as its variety represents as a microcosm of the Milken series as a whole.” — Malcolm Miller, Jewish Music Institute (Nov. 2005)

“The music is fabulous, and the liner notes alone are worth the price!” — Aaron Howard, Jewish Herald-Voice (Aug. 26, 2004)

“Those familiar with the greats of cantorial music will be interested to note that some of the arrangements on this CD are by Chicago’s Joshua Lind. For those less familiar, the liner notes are a musical education in themselves.” — Gila Wertheimer, Chicago Jewish Star

“This is probably the single most ambitious production of the Milken Archive series to date. Drawn from the writings of a veritable cantorial hall of fame. A triumph. 5 stars.” — George Robinson, The Jewish Week, 9/8/04

“...[This disc has] occupied my CD player for the last few weeks. Miller...is a superb performer of traditional ‘chazzonus.’ The recording is truly hair-raising! Miller’s dramatic tenor is the perfect instrument for the rapid coloratura passages on every selection. The male chorus provides support for Miller both by singing sustained chords and by adding melodic phrases as the music demands. The CD is a benchmark for this a capella-style of synagogue musical repertoire.” — David F. Tilman, Jewish Exponent

“...sung magnificently by Cantor Benzion Miller... This is an extremely important release, and for that I give it a hearty yasher koach—congratulations and wish for success.” — Jerry Dubins, Fanfare

Click here to view all available releases in the Milken Archive Series at ArkivMusic.
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Works on This Recording

Ashrei yoshvei veitekha by Leib Glantz
Performer:  Ira Bigeleisen (Cantor), Benzion Miller (Cantor)
Conductor:  Neil Levin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Hebraeica
Einei khol by Traditional
Performer:  Benzion Miller (Cantor), Ira Bigeleisen (Cantor)
Conductor:  Neil Levin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Hebraeica
Va'anahnu by Joshua Lind
Performer:  Benzion Miller (Cantor), Ira Bigeleisen (Cantor)
Conductor:  Neil Levin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Hebraeica
Hatzi kaddish by Todros Greenberg
Performer:  Benzion Miller (Cantor), Ira Bigeleisen (Cantor)
Conductor:  Neil Levin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Hebraeica
Ata ritzatzta by Benzion Miller
Performer:  Benzion Miller (Cantor), Ira Bigeleisen (Cantor)
Conductor:  Neil Levin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Hebraeica
L'khu n'rann'na...Hann'shama lakh by Isaac Kaminsky
Performer:  Benzion Miller (Cantor), Ira Bigeleisen (Cantor)
Conductor:  Neil Levin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Hebraeica
Hattei by Israel Schorr
Performer:  Benzion Miller (Cantor), Ira Bigeleisen (Cantor)
Conductor:  Neil Levin
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Schola Hebraeica

Sound Samples

Ashrei: yoshvei veitekha (Glantz: as sung by M. Koussevitzky) - Einei khol (arr. R. Goldstein) - Va'anahnu (Lind)
Hatzi Kaddish
... ata ritzatzta (improvisation): ... ata ritzatzta (improvisation)
L'khu n'rann'na ... hann'shama lakh: L'khu n'rann'na... hann'shama lakh
... kama yisartanu ... ki ata el rahum ... ta'avor al pesha ... adonai ... s'lah lanu ...: ... kama yisartanu... ki ata el rahum... ta'avor al pesha... adonai... s'lah lanu... (recitation)
Hattei elohai ozn'kha (arr. I. Heilmann): Hattei elohai ozn'kha
... shimkha elohim ... el melekh yoshev ... adonai ... s'lah na: ... shimkha elohim... el melekh yoshev... adonai... s'lah na (recitation)
El melekh yoshev
B'motza'ei m'nuha: b'motza'ei m'nuha (arr. A. Miller)
B'motza'ei m'nuha: et y'min (I. Kaminsky; refrain: J. Lind)
B'motza'ei m'nuha: d'rosh na (improvisation; refrain: J. Lind)
B'motza'ei m'nuha: zohalim (J. Lind)
B'motza'ei m'nuha: yotzer ata (improvisation)
B'motza'ei m'nuha: marom im atzmu (?H. Zalis)
B'motza'ei m'nuha: p'ne na (I. Bigeleisen)
B'motza'ei m'nuha: r'tze atiratam (M. Machtenberg)
... z'khor rahamekha ... himmatze lanu ... (recitation and improvisation): ... z'khor rahamekha... himmatze lanu... (recitation and improvisation)
T'vi'enu havi'enu: T'vi'enu (havi'enu)
Sh'ma kolenu
al ta'azvenu... tavo l'fanekha (recitation)
Ashamnu (arr. N. Levin): Ashamnu
... hirshanu ... anenu ... mi she'ana l'avraham (recitation): ... hirshanu... anenu... mi she'ana l'avraham (recitation)
mahei umasei... makhnisei rahamim... (recitation): mahei umasei....makhnisei rahamim.... (recitation)
Maran d'vishmayya
Shomer yisra'el (arr. R. Goldstein): Shomer yisra'el
Avinu malkenu
Kaddish shalem, "Hassidic Kaddish": Kaddish shalem, 'Hassidic Kaddish'
Mar'eh kohen
Yir'u eineinu
Untanne tokef (as sung by M. Koussevitzky): Untanne tokef

Customer Reviews

Average Customer Review:  1 Customer Review )
 Outstanding Recording of Treasures Largely Unheard June 26, 2012 By Melvin R. Katskee (Omaha, NE) See All My Reviews "This recording of the complete S'lichos Service innaugurating the High Holy Days of the Jewish calendar features an outstanding Chazzan and choir in the Orthodox liturgy for this service which takes place at midnight, and which is not often heard in the synagogue in these times since the banishment of cantors and traditional nusach by most modern orthodox synagogues in favor of degraded musical forms. It is beautifully rendered and presented by Naxos and the Milken Archives." Report Abuse
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