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CD Volume III: The High Holy Day Experience Disc 2

Track 01: KOL NIDREI – Traditional arr. Raymond Goldstein/Stephen Glass





Track 02: SHEHECHEYANU – Ralph Schlossberg


(originally released on “The Music of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Volume I”)

While other settings of this text are more widely known, in most cases, they do not match the spirit of the hour or the appropriate mood of reverence that should follow the Kol Nidrei prayer. This lyrical setting however, casts the most perfect spell and has become a permanent fixture of the Kol Nidrei Service at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim. The cantor introduces the main theme and then sings a gentle descant while the melody is adopted by the choir.


Track 03: YA’ALEH – Yehuda Mandel

At Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, the Ya’aleh prayer is sung immediately after the Kol Nidrei Sermon. Congregational singing is certainly desirable at this point. Introduced in the early 1990s, this attractive melody accompanied by choir, allows the Cantor to express the words, the Congregation to sing along and illuminates the text (note the natural rise and fall of the melody).

Track 04: ADONAI, ADONAI – Traditional





Track 05: KI HINEI KACHOMER – Mark Silver

In creating this arrangement, the goal was to preserve the Congregation’s traditional refrain, but build a piece around it with a choral arrangement that musically illuminates the text: the movement of the potter’s wheel, the stonecutter’s chiseling and so on. Mark Silver’s setting receives a rich harmonic treatment in this a cappella version.

Track 06: SH’MA KOLEINU – From the Voice of Prayer and Praise

Sung and beloved by many congregations who have connections to the Jewish choral tradition of the UK, this composition of unknown origin, found in the Voice of Prayer and Praise, creates an intense mood of devotion and humility.

Track 07: KI ANU AMECHA – Julius Mombach





Track 08: V’AL KULAM /V’AL CHATA’IM – Traditional/Louis Lewandowski





Track 09: RACHAMANA – Geoffrey Shisler

Also sung at Congregation Shaar Hashomayim’s Choral S’lichot Service, this lyrical melody has a reflective quality which perfectly underlines the character of the text.

Track 10: ADON OLAM – David Aaron de Sola

As the Kol Nidrei service draws to a close, this music helps us remember that we are only part way through a journey that will resume on Yom Kippur morning. The mood is still one of reverence, introspection and personal examination – it is not the time for exuberance, levity or celebration. This melody and arrangement provides the perfect end to the evening: elegant, thoughtful and refined.

Track 11 – EIL MALEI RACHAMIM I – Meir Finkelstein


(originally released on “The Music of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Volume I”)
This somewhat unconventional yet extraordinary version of the prayer draws its inspiration from the mood of the words. It includes a mysterious section related to the names of the deceased contained in the Congregation’s Memorial Book, a very distinctive moment in reference to the Garden of Eden: “b’gan eiden” and, unlike traditional settings of the text, concludes with an optimistic and luminous melody reflecting the desire for the deceased to find comfort and peace in their resting place.

Track 12: EIL MALEI RACHAMIM II – Moshe Stern/Stephen Glass/Gideon Zelermyer


Created in response to a newly revised Eil Malei Rachamim text for martyrs, this arrangement draws on a number of musical sources. The beginning and end of the piece: a traditional Eil Malei composition by Cantor Moshe Stern; the Armed Forces: the National Anthem of Canada; the victims of the Holocaust: recitative by Cantor Moshe Stern; the creation of the State of Israel: the theme from Exodus by Ernest Gold; victims of terror in Israel and throughout the world: Hatikvah.

Track 13: UVCHEIN YITKADASH – Josef Goldstein,/Max Graumann




Track 14: MAREI CHOHEIN – Yigal Calek


With its more popular style and rhythmic quality, this piece brings a welcome infusion of energy during the latter part of the Musaf service, when many people are fatigued and the service includes a lot of quieter congregational praying. The mood of the composition is especially appropriate, since the text focuses on the successful emergence of the High Priest from the Holy of Holies. This piece was introduced to Congregation Shaar Hashomayim by Cantor David Chaim Berson.

Track 15: CHATZI KADDISH (N’ILAH) – Louis Lewandowski


This piece provides the Congregation with its first exposure to the special Nusach (mode) which is exclusive to the N’ilah Service. Based on traditional motifs as well as music from Louis Lewandowski, this arrangement features distinctive harmonies and choral backing, designed to imbue the final hours of Yom Kippur with beauty, freshness and optimism, as we approach the conclusion of the Fast.

Track 16: AVOT (N’ILAH) – Louis Lewandowski


As the Ark is opened following the silent Amidah, the Congregation is once again drawn in to the magical sounds of the N’ilah Nusach. The use of a choral backing imbues the start of the Amidah with a distinctive quality – an approach that can also be heard in the Avot for Musaf.

Track 17: SH’MA NA – Stephen Glass


One of three settings (tracks 17, 18 & 21) based on original themes. These compositions consist of a relentless choral texture with rapidly changing harmonies over which the cantor sings a melodic line that, across the three pieces, includes moments of yearning, self-doubt, confidence, desperation and resignation.

Track 18: P’TACH LANU SHA’AR – Stephen Glass




Track 19: EZK’RA ELOHIM – Jeffrey Craimer


A simple and plaintive melody is supported by imaginative harmonies which serve to emphasise the mood and meaning of this text.

Track 20: Y’HI RATZON (FROM EZK’RA ELOHIM) – David Putterman




Track 21: RACHEIM NA – Stephen Glass




Track 22: KADDISH SHALEIM – Jacob Gottlieb

(originally released on “The Music of Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, Volume I”)
Click here to listen to Disc 1
Sunday, July 14, 2024 8 Tammuz 5784