Inventory of Italian Jewish musical archives

As part of the European Jewish Music Network program initiated by the IEMJ, the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (Unione delle Comunità Ebraiche Italiane – UCEI) has launched in 2022-2023 a registry of Italian Jewish music archives.

An intial inventory had already been started, thanks to the precious contribution of Rav Enrico Elia Richetti (z.l.) and his son Ishai.

Concerning the current inventory, UCEI has set up a simple tool to characterize and identify the documentation collected. To this end, an Excel file has been designed to achieve the following 2 aims:

– Search for documents according to location,

– Put together all versions of the same piece (a Lekha dodi, for example), whatever their provenance (Rome, Florence, Venice…) or medium (audio, score…).

Rav Enrico Elia Richetti

The inventory – which was considered useful to publish in this first stage – has made it possible, as can be seen in the file accessible below, to catalog over 800 records. This initial database is such that new titles can easily be added.

As a first step, documents from the Ucei Bibliographic Center, the musicaebraicaitaliana.it portal, from Teche Rai, as well as the personal archives of Franco Segre, a great expert on the Piedmontese tradition, and the archives of Maestro Riccardo Joshua Moretti, who has made available the recordings of rav Elia Richetti, have been compiled here. We thank them both for their important contribution, which we hope will continue. One of the next steps involves the state archives, which have already been consulted and where further important documents are likely to be found.

The collaboration of Professor Pasquale Troìa, who has been collecting material related to liturgical music for thirty years, should also be mentioned.

This inventory includes archives of particular interest:

  • The 44 cards containing Maestro Elio Piattelli‘s manuscripts (from 1948 to 1985, many of them simple psalms composed for non-professional choirs).
  • The songs of the neo-Jewish community founded by Donato Manduzio (1885-1948) in Sannicandro (FG).
  • The manuscripts of the Cinque Scole di Roma (Scola Catalana, Scola Castigliana, Scola Siciliana, Scola Tempio and Scola Nova).
  • Recordings of Pesach songs by Rav Elia Richetti (circa 2012).
  • Roman documents found in Jerusalem (one of the manuscripts is dated 1846).
  • Cassette recordings by Rav Adolfo Aharon Locci (Padua).
Lekhah Dodi – Benedetto Marcello

The Troìa collection, currently uncatalogued as part of this research, will be donated to the Historical Archives of the Jewish Community of Rome (ASCER) and will hopefully form an additional part of this inventory, open to new referenced acquisitions.

The work carried out has confirmed the importance of compiling this inventory. Simple in form, it provides a basis both for subsequent additions, and for devising possible developments in terms of data collection and investigation.

This work, under the direct responsibility of the Ucei General Secretary, Uriel Perugia, was coordinated by Lucilla Efrati, with Alex Ezra Fornari, under the supervision of Maestro Riccardo Joshua Moretti.

View the UCEI inventory in PDF version

Download file in Excel format

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