Hosha'na Rabbah in Casale Monferrato 1732.
Works from the 18th century repertory of the communities of Amsterdam: cantatas and choral works; and Casale Monferrato: A Musical Ceremony for Hosha'na Rabbah, from 1732.
The recording is from a concert commemorating the 100th Jubilee of the Jewish National and University Library, which took place in Jerusalem on the 11th of June, 1992, with the assistance of Yad Hanadiv, the IBA and the Noah Greenberg Memorial Fund. Contains works by: Abraham Caceres, Cristiano G. Lidarti (Amsterdam) and anonymous composers. Performers: The Israel National Choir Rinat; The Keshet Baroque Orchestra; Avner Itai, conductor; Miriam Meltzer, Sivam Rotem, and Aris Christofellis, sopranos; Yaakov Zamir, countertenor; Stephan Schreckenberger, bass; Walter Reiter, guest violonist; David Shemer, cembalo; Isidoro Roitman, Theorbo; Benny Hendel, narrator.
Musical arrangements and realization of the Basso Continuo, Israel Adler.
Accompanied by Hebrew and English program notes, and Hebrew texts with English translation.
The descendants of Marranos from the Iberian Peninsula who settled in Amsterdam from the end of the 16th century onwards created during the 17th and 18th centuries one of the most flourishing Jewish communities in Europe. The foremost musical manifestations of this community took place during the clebrations of Shabbat nahamu Simhat torah and Shabbat bereshit. Shabbat nahamu commemorating the inauguration of the "great synagogue" in 1675 became the principal local feast and is still commemorated today. This celebration and the Simhat torah festivities in honour of the "Bridegroom of the Torah" and of "The bridegroom of Genesis" occasioned numerous musical compostions.
Under the influence of the kabbalistic ideas developed in Safed during the sixteenth century night vigils (tiqqunim) were organized at first in Jewish communities in Italy and other Mediterranean countries and then spreading through practically all of Europe. Such events were held on different occasions of the annual liturgical cycle including the night of Hosha'na Rabbah a holy day that marks the last opportunity for obtaining divine pardon called in Italy: "yom ha-hotam haggadol" (Day of the Great Seal). In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the vigil of Hosha'na Rabbah offered one of the most widespread occasions for the performance of art music work especially in Italy. During the eighteenth century musical manifestations on the occasion of Hosha'na Rabbah attained considerable proportions in the Casale Monferrato Jewish Ashkenazi community in the 1730's. The earliest source so far discovered related to these events is that for the 1732 ceremony. The author of the libretti for 1732 and for 1733 is identified as S.H.Jarach. The names of the composers are unknown. The initiator of the ceremonies was Joseph Hayyim Chezighin who commissioned the libretti and participated in the performances as maestro di capella and cembalo player. Two of the overture-symphonies have been identified in the contemporary Italian repertory: the symphony-overture in G of the 1732 ceremony is attributed in other sources to Hasse Handel or Vivaldi and the symphony-overture in G of the 1733 ceremony has been identified as a work by Antonio Brioschi.