|Jewish Music Series|
What is “Jewish music”? The ethnomusicologists Rita Ottens and Joel Rubin present the varied musical traditions of Jewish populations of different continents in their Jewish Music Series. These traditions range from the melismatic Eastern traditions of Yemen and Syria, by way of unaccompanied Judeo-Hispanic romances and religious songs of supplication (the so-called "bakkashot"), to East European klezmer repertoire of the sort collected by the Russian-Jewish researchers An-ski, Engel, and Beregovski in the first decades of the twentieth century.
All these forms - no matter whether classical, traditional, urban, popular, or folk - have one thing in common: they share roots in the Jewish religion and tradition and are elements of Jewish experience and history.
Even the very first recording in the series, which presented live concert recordings from the program surrounding the exhibition "Patterns of Jewish Life" in Berlin in 1992, received great praise internationally, because it provided a learned overview “from the inside” on the enormous range of Jewish musical traditions today, and it did so even for non-Jewish audiences.
From the beginning the editors of the series made it their task to present important bearers of the tradition like the klezmer clarinetist Max Epstein and musical traditions that are little known outside the Jewish community, for example, those reflected in the Turkish-Jewish art music of the cantor Isaak Algazi. At the same time, however, the series remains open to current trends in Hassidic music today.
Click here to visit Joel E. Rubin's and Rita Ottens' website.