Rozhinkes mit Mandlen, (arr. Jacobson)

Rozhinkes mit Mandlen, (arr. Jacobson)

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Composed By: Avrohom Goldfaden

Arranged by: Joshua Jacobson

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Voicing: SA or SATB

Keyword lullaby, Yiddish Theatre

Language: Yiddish or English

Difficulty: easy

Country: Rumania

Solos: none (optional soprano solo)

Instruments: piano and violin

Lyrics: Avrohom Goldfaden

Year Composed/Published: c. 1880

Tempo: slow

Duration: 3:30

First Line: in dem beys hamikdosh in a vinkel kheyder

description: Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen is an aria from Goldfaden’s opera Shulamis (c. 1880). The plot is set in ancient Jerusalem at the time of the Roman destruction of the Temple (70 c.e.). It is sung by the warrior-hero, Absolom, in the desert, as he recalls a lullaby his mother used to sing (Act 1, scene 4). The song hardly fits into the story line; its presence seems forced. But that is not unusual in musical theatre productions. Songs irrelevant to the plot were often inserted either to show off a particular singer’s vocal prowess, to showcase a composer’s talent, or to otherwise promote the show by pleasing the audience. While the opera Shulamis is largely forgotten, the song Rozhinkes endured, becoming what is probably the most popular Yiddish lullaby of the twentieth century. 

The references to the cradle, the goat, the raisins and almonds were borrowed from an older Yiddish lullaby, Unter Dem Kinds Vigele. The melody is original to Goldenfaden, but its opening strains reveal a strong affinity to an ancient Jewish liturgical cantillation mode. 

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"Rozhinkes mit Mandlen" by Avrohom Goldfaden, arr by Joshua Jacobson. Performed by: West Valley College Chamber Singers 12/11/2015 Conducted by: Lou De La Rosa (caveat: the Yiddish pronunciation on this video is not perfect)