The Best Jewish Songs in the World

The CD The Best Jewish Songs in the World CD brings together 30 pieces of Hebrew and Yiddish music orchestrated by Benedict Silberman (1901-1971). Originally published by the Capitol label in Los Angeles on two LPs: Jewish Music – Melodies Beloved the World Over (1957) and Jewish Memories (1960), these pieces were remastered and released on CD in 1990.

At the origin of these records of Jewish music is the personality of Jacques Kluger, a jazz enthusiast and successful producer, who organised concerts for Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong, influenced the careers of great artists such as Annie Cordy and Eddy Constantine, and was Jacques Brel’s first publisher in Brussels.

The production of these records, which were very different from the others, was an opportunity for Jacques Kluger to pay tribute to his father, who had recently died and was a great lover of traditional Jewish music. To produce them, Jacques Kluger asked his mother, a talented pianist, to transcribe the songs and melodies she played on the piano in the living room when she entertained her husband’s numerous guests leaving the synagogue at the end of the Shabbat. These melodies were entrusted to the composer and conductor Benedict Silbermann who orchestrated them.

Performed by the Dutch Radio Orchestra in Hilversum conducted by Benedict Silberman, this CD plunges us into a traditional Jewish atmosphere for more than an hour, with moments of joy, sadness and nostalgia. It is an opportunity to discover rare pieces, but also great hits of Jewish music, such as Good Luck To Groom & Bride (Chosn-Kale Mazel-tov), Raisins & Almonds, Eili, Eili, Rebbi Elimelech, as well as a remarkable interpretation of Kol nidre, and the Israeli hymn Hatikvah.

Read Jacques Kluger’s biography


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