German Kedushah, Lewandowski

German Kedushah, Lewandowski

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Composed By: Louis Lewandowski

German Title: Deustche Keduscha

Edited by Joshua Jacobson

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Voicing: SATB

Language: Hebrew and German

Difficulty: moderately easy

Country: Germany

Solos: tenor or high baritone

Instruments: organ

Lyrics: liturgy (Sanctification trope, similar to the Sanctus of the Mass)

Year Composed/published: 1876

Timing: 6:20

Tempo: moderate

First Line: Aus jeglichem Munde erschallt der Ruf

description: Louis Lewandowski (1821–1894) was Music Director at the Oranienburgerstrasse synagogue in Berlin from 1840 until the early 1890s. Lewandowski saw the publication of hundreds of his own compositions, including two volumes of liturgical compositions for choir, cantor and (optional) organ—Todah W’Simrah: volume 1 in 1876 and volume 2 in 1882.

Lewandowski’s music resembles that of his contemporary, Felix Mendelssohn; the style is firmly rooted in the classical/romantic choral tradition. The organ accompaniments are, by and large, optional; the composer wanted to ensure that his compositions could also be performed in venues where no organ was available. 

The German Kedushah represents Lewandowski's nod to the reformers who sought to modernize the liturgy by introducing prayers in the vernacular. While Hebrew is maintained for the core biblical citations, the remainder has been rendered in German. The Jewish Reform Congregation in Berlin  favored this setting for High Holiday services and confirmation ceremonies. A historical recording of the German Kedushah can be heard on the CD, originally recorded in 1928, The Musical Tradition of the Jewish Reform Congregation in Berlin, re-issued by the Feher Jewish Music Center of the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv.

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