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Frankfurt

oktober 19, 2010

Yesterday, I came back from a short trip to Frankfurt (Germany). The minjan of Frankfurt organized a festive day celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Westend Synagogue of Frankfurt. I wanted to be there. Moreover, for this congregation I recently composed a song on the psalm 100 text. It would be performed on that day. Saturday, I got on the train. I brought some study books mainly to get more background knowledge about the Havdalah ritual. Of course there was not much written about it: once a schlemiel – always a schlemiel. Anyway, there was more then enough in this book (namely Baderech written by R. Vorst) to entertain myself so I did not schlepp for nothing. The environment was also a pleasure to look at. In Frankfurt I took a sort of metro called S Bahn to Wollstadt Niedermohr. It feels like the real thing to travel around going to little towns. I pictured myself Bartok diving into the jungle of Hungary.
My friend and collegue (she is a musician – singer) Leah Frey awaited me. At her place we did Havdalah. After that she showed me a magnificent book by Joshua Jacobson about cantillation. We tried to find out if there have been classical composers whose melodies look/sound like tropes. We did not find any. Also we made the beginning of an Al Chet for musicians. That was fun. Something like: ‘we are sorry for the things we have done wrong concerning sharps and flats.’ Sunday, we went to the Westend Synagogue in Frankfurt. There was a full program. The first lecture was about Regina Jonas, the first female rabbi of the world. Elisa Klapheck has written a book on her which I bought and want to read soon. I found it very interesting the colour of Elisa’s voice is different when she speaks German instead of Dutch. More pointed into specific direction I would say like an oboe over a violoncello. The tour by an orthodox lady through the Synagogue turned out a lecture of which I could not understand ein einiges Wort due to the acoustical situation. Therefore, I praised myself happy the concert was in the small Shul. It was definitely superb. Leah Frey Rabine (soprano) and Christine Schmidt (violin) performed music by Jeff Hamburg, Mathieu Polak and Daniel Katz. We made plans for the future. Let’s hope they will be realized. I mean, let’s work on the realization of them. Without doubt, a singer and a violinist is all you need to build a concert. Kol hakavod for Daniel Kempin as well who gave a great performance in the evening singing Yiddish songs accompanying himself with guitar. There was simply to much to write about in this little diary. Monday, after Leah gave some singing lessons which I was alowed to observe I took the train back. In five hours a fair start with the Regina Jonas book was made.

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2 reacties
  1. must have been an interesting musical experience. did you make any recordings?

  2. Hi Bertie, Indeed a recording has been made by Daniel Katz. Once I have it (as a mp3 file) I want to post it on Facebook. Best greetings, Mathieu

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