Purim or Esther’s holiday in music

A radio show of the European Institute for Jewish Music, hosted by Hervé Roten.

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI - TUESDAY FEBRUARY 12th 2013, JUDAÏQUES FM (94.8)
In French

The story of queen Esther, who saved the Persian Jewish community from death, inspired many writers ( Racine), painters (Boticcelli, Véronèse...) and musicians (Moreau , Haendel, Lidarti, Milhaud...). In Jewish communities, this holiday is celebrated under the name « Purim » which means in Persian (lots, fate, spells...). During a meeting between king Asuerus and his counsellors –among them the famous evil Aman- the 14th Adar has been randomly chosen to kill all Persian Jews.

This story, which is written in Esther’s manuscript (Meguilat Esther), is sang during the evening service of Purim, before having a big meal with alcohol. Purim is also a carnaval-like holiday. It is traditional to dress up, to sing, mime or do theater parodies (Purim-Shpil in Ashkenazi communities). Purim is also one of these rare holidays where music is not just authorized, but strongly encouraged.

This radio show, supervized by cantor and Rabbi Jacques Arnold, offers a unique musical vision of this holiday : readings of Meguilat Esther in different traditions, folkloric and children’s songs, Purim-Shpils and art music works, such as Ester’s oratorio (1774) by Lidarti.

Pourim ou la fête d’Esther en musique - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)


Officer of the Ordre of Arts and letters, PhD in musicology at Paris University Sorbonne, prize-winning graduate from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris, Hervé Roten is the director of the European Institute for Jewish Music since its creation in 2006.
Ethnomusicologist, he quickly developed an interest in the safeguard and digitization of archives, subjects he taught for several years in Reims and Marne-La-Vallée universities.
Author of many articles, books and recordings related to Jewish music, producer of radio programs, Hervé Roten is recognized today as one of the best specialists of Jewish music in the world.

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  • Pourim ou la fête d’Esther en musique - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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