Saturday, March 24, 2012

First Performance in 400 Years for Medieval Passover Music

Jewish high school students in Toronto, Canada, will sing two pieces of medieval music from the Passover Seder at their “Sounds of Spring” Musical Concert. This is probably the first time in almost four hundred years that the music has been performed.

In 1644, Johannes Rittangel, a Christian scholar, published a Haggadah with a Latin translation for the benefit of other Christian Hebraists. Unusually, when transcribing the traditional songs at the end of the Passover night Seder meal, he also included musical notation – a unique record of how Passover songs were sung in Medieval times. In what is probably the first public performance of this festival music for almost four centuries, the choir of the Anne and Max Tanenbaum Community Hebrew Academy of Toronto’s Kimel Family Education Centre will feature the music at their annual concert at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, March 27.

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