Adon Olam is a 12th century Jewish hymn traditionally sung at the end of Sabbath services in both Ashkenazic and Sephardic congregations. Maybe you’ve heard Uzi Hitman’s disco version, which electrified the 1970’s. But what may be most inspiring about the prayer is that it can fit to pretty much any melody. Here it is to Pharrell’s Happy. Here it is to Gilbert and Sullivan's Modern Major General. Here’s the Cups song. Even Amazing Grace. [more inside]
Sephardic Music: A Century of Recordings is a discographic website charting the recording of Sephardic secular and liturgical songs. It includes great sections on 78 rpm recordings, early repertory, and modern recordings. Samples of songs are littered throughout, but many can be found in the Appendix section on 78 labels (at the bottom of the page) and the Songs section of the Appendix. There are many other parts of the site to explore, but the Bibiliography deserves a special mention, as does this page providing samples of 125! different recordings of the popular song A la una over the past 100 years.
Know who else liked tunes by "subhuman" Jewish and Russian musicians? That's right.
Mahler performances were rare in Vienna in those days because Mahler's city had already been contaminated by the acolytes of Adolf Hitler. By their reckoning, Mahler's music was loathsome — a product of "Jewish decadence." To put Mahler's music on the program was therefore a political act. It was to protest and deny the hateful faith that blazed across the border from Germany. That much I understood quite clearly, even as a boy. The New Yorker's Alex Ross reprints Hans Fantel's New York Times 1989 essay on Bruno Walter's 1938 performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony -- the last performance of the Vienna Philharmonic before Hitler invaded Austria.