Sunday, January 08, 2006

I Thought It Was Just a Small Benefit Concert ...

... and it was reviewed in Haaretz. Wow.

It looks like the reviewer liked it, too.

Professional musicians performed during the first half hour in the improvised synagogue situated in the building serving the Religious Scouts youth movement, and the audience was able to restrain itself. But when these four musicians were joined by a pianist and four amateur singers, who had previously sat in the audience and now began to sing magnificently, emotions ran too high, and a storm of applause filled the modest confines of the room after every piece. And when these nine adults were joined by two teenage girls and two younger girls, the crowd became ecstatic. In the end, the audience rose to its feet and cheered long and loud. There were shouts of “You were fantastic!” but this was only half the message sent to the 13 performers; the other half was: “You’re ours, and we’re proud of you.”

Just one thing, though: I wish that the reviewer had mentioned the song we sang. It was “Daughter Voices” by Jerusalem composer Mindy Kornberg (check out her album of songs for the cycle of the Jewish year, “Music from the Mountain”). “Daughter Voices” is a lovely song, exquisitely and intricately constructed, about the need to listen to the voices of women throughout Jewish history—voices that, too often, were silenced.

I was one of the four “amateur singers”—at least one of whom is a professional, and a choir director to boot—who sang “Daughter Voices.” (I also sang the alto part of Salamone Rossi’s “Shir ha-Ma’alot” and promptly fell in love with the piece. Now I want to hear everything Rossi ever wrote.)

I do hope we’ll get to do this again. It was fun.

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