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Sacred Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue
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I can honestly say that I play it [Sacred Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue] every morning. What an inspirational to begin the day! Cantor Garfein's lovely voice does not mask the clarity of the words of these prayers. Her masterful musicianship and religious fervor combine forces of a powerful performance. This is a CD that I most heartily recommend to any music lover. -- Lois Lebow, Atlanticville, April, 1999
If you enjoy listening to well written and brilliantly performed music, settings of prayers whose texts ought to be familiar to any knowledgeable Jew, then get this CD. Cantor Garfein has a powerful, dramatic mezzo-soprano voice, which she uses with great control and effect. -- Morton Gold, The National Jewish Post & Opinion, February 10, 1999
Top Customer Reviews
I immediately searched the web for the info, got the name of the chant and found this CD. I almost purchased it without listening, when I found a different site, where they actually have rather long excerpts (2 min.) of most tracks, so I listened to them.
Boy, was I relieved and disappointed at once! Relieved that I didn't buy the CD and disappointed that I couldn't get the song I wanted (I was willing to buy a whole CD for just 1 song, that's how much it impressed me).
The song sounds very little like the one from the West Wing, although I do believe that the site where I found the info speficially pointed to this CD as having a recording of the same song used in the show. And I'm sorry to say it but the voice also doesn't hold a candle to the one used on the show - way too "operatic", as mentioned by many, and harsh and even unpleasant-sounding to me. It took all the charm and candor right out of the song (in the show, they had a much more natural voice do the song). I also agree that the choir does not mesh well with the soloist.
If anyone knows where and if I can purchase a recording of this song done by a different singer (if it can be the one from the West Wing, I'll be thrilled), please, let me know. In the meantime, I'm passing on this CD...
Regardless of your theological faith, the sound of Rebecca Garfein's voice will free you momentarily from the cares and concerns that make all of us a little grumpy at times.
Her voice seems to break free of the CD and wraps your soul in peace. This collection of 16 Jewish prayers and songs are made more ethereal by Cantor Garfein.
Any serious lover of classical music should add this CD to their collection.
I have heard Rebecca perform in person. If you have the opportunity to see this mezzo soprano, don't forsake the chance to lighten your step.
Organist-Choirmaster Arnold Ostlund, Jr. skillfully chooses registrations which enhance both the cantorial performance and the superb choral blend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whether being meditative or pausing for a spiritual drink of thought, this is excellent music and chanting for the soul.Published on March 28, 2014 by Barbara Renton
Thanks for offering both recordings by Cantor Garfein. The first, Sacred Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue, has great significance as Cantor Garfein was the first female Cantor... Read morePublished on January 6, 2008 by J. Lewis Hall Jr.
I am sitting here trying to think of something nice to say about this singer's voice; I'm sorry, but I just can't find anything. Read morePublished on November 25, 2007 by Tricia K.
The Reform movement has such an achingly beautiful cantorial tradition, not sufficiently recorded for my taste. And Cantor Garfein's credentials and reputation are sterling. Read morePublished on September 22, 2007 by Marcus Maximus
Cantor Rebecca Garfein's Sacred Chants is a memorial tribute to the cultural and spiritual greatness of the pre-war German Jewish synagogue. Read morePublished on January 17, 2004 by Steven Graham
I have to admit, it am in the process of converting and wanted a contemporary collection of Jewish music in the house. I was especially excited because it featured a female cantor. Read morePublished on January 6, 2004
Thank you, Cantor Garfein, for giving a voice to the spiritual joy inside each and every one of us. In the study of archaeology, I have found that music and song, as an expression... Read morePublished on December 13, 2003 by Joan L. Cox