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1 CD, accompanied by Hebrew and English program notes and texts. Selections of liturgical music of various Jewish communities in Italy, recorded originally by the Italian Jewish ethnomusicologist Leo Levi (1912-1982) from original sources. Contents: prayers, cantillation and hymns for Sabbath, High holidays, festivals, Hannukah, Purim; Songs and hymns for Birth, circumcision and wedding.
The track opens with the blessing recited upon lighting the Hanukkah candles followed by the hymn commemorating the reestablishment of Jewish worship in the Jerusalem Temple by the Maccabeans. The 'Ma'oz tzur' melody from the Verona Ashkenazi ritual is a variant of the tune transcribed by Benedetto Marcello. Other variants collected by Levi in Ferrara Gorizia Casale Monferrato and Turin attest to its longevity among the Italian Ashkenazi communities and its popularity among Italian communities in Piedmont.
This Melody for Psalm 114 celebrating the Exodus is a revealing example of the "Pan-Italian repertoire." Sung during the Passover services in the Italian rites of Ferrara (as documented here) and Rome it also appears in the Sephardi repertoires of Livorno and Venice as a "melodic marker" of this holiday.
Hymn by Shelomo Alkabetz (c. 1505-1584) for the "Welcoming the Sabbath" before the Friday Evening Service. This Torinese version is still sung today with the congeration repeating the second part of each stanza as a refrain.