Sunday night marks the beginning of the observance of Rosh Hashannah.
As I've mentioned before, there really is very little "serious" Jewish organ music to select from - at least until we reach the modern times, when we have works by composers such as Herman Berlinksi: http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/14234
- and - http://www.contrebombarde.com/concerthall/music/14236
Louis Lewandowski (1821-94) contributed greatly to the liturgy of the Synagogue Service. His most famous works were composed during his tenure as musical director at the Neue Synagoge in Berlin and his melodies form a substantial part of synagogue services around the world today.
Lewandowski was born at Wreschen, Province of Posen, Prussia (now Wrzesnia in Poland). At the age of twelve he went to Berlin to study piano and voice, and became solo soprano in the synagogue. Afterward he studied for three years under A. B. Marx and attended the school of composition of the Berlin Academy. He was the first Jew to be admitted to the school at the request of Felix Mendelssohn. After graduating with high honors, he was appointed in 1840 choirmaster of the Berlin synagogue. In 1866 he received the title of "royal musical director." Shortly afterward, he was appointed choirmaster in the Neue Synagoge, Berlin, for which he composed the entire musical service. The Neue Synagogue was what would then have been called a conservative synagogue and what now would be considered progressive. His arrangements of ancient Hebrew melodies for choir, cantor, and organ are considered masterly productions, characterized by great simplicity and a profound religious sentiment. Many of Lewandowski's pupils became prominent cantors.
The score is attached below, as well as photographs of Lewandowski, and of the Neue Synagoge, as it would have looked during Lewandowski's tenure.
Musical notes are given in the first comment.
(More HHD to come!)