Friday, April 10, 2009

"Passover" over the George Washington Bridge

I went to a Chabad community seder on Wednesday night and had fun explaining to an Israeli Jew what horseradish was and why someone would voluntarily eat it. It was a great experience sitting in a room filled with mosaic of Jews that were committed or nostalgic, Sephardic or Ashkenazi, American or Israeli, traditional or not. There was a lot of discussion of varying traditions ranging from parsley vs. celery vs. onion's for karpas to our favorite songs and stories. One thing that was clear was that my typical Conservative Jewish Passover experience is idiosyncratic and very very American.

When I was looking for interesting Passover music this week, I ran across this wonderful piece from William Finn's "Elegies." Like my own experiences, it's wonderfully idiosyncratic and very very American. It's also filled with a deep sense of how family life weaves through the seder experience and the Passover themes. Finn writes for musical theater, with very autobiographic shows including the Tony winning Broadway show, Falsettos, that explore his experience of being gay and Jewish in contemporary America.

Here's William Finn's "Passover" from his "Elegies," a song cycle about the loss of friends and family. Broadway actress, and North Coast University of Michigan alumni, Cortney Wolfson performs.

ELEGIES: "Passover"

Hat tip to YouTube user UrInTown for posting the video.


Anonymous said...

bit scary... if you want great pesach/omer music try this...


As a newbie to the frum world I tend to get quite enthusiastic about most things torah and even halacha... however I had a huge issue with women's only music in that it was, generally, not so good, who I am kidding, gigs left me tearful as 'heartfelt' and 'moving' left me running screaming from the shows I'd been cajouled into attending with my sem friends and Jlem buddies.

Until one night when, quite unsuspectingly, I found a singer who can actually sing! Don't take my word for it, ask anyone there, no-one spoke a word from her first note to her last.
Delia Spiers (now Bueno de Mesquita, she got married in Nov, mazal tov!) is a BT (unsuprisingly) from the UK who once trod the boards of Jazz clubs and acoustic venues singing with her unique blend of pure innocence, unnerving honesty and raw emotion. Ok, I read that on a review online, except it's true!

I would love to hear from others who've seen her and those who have yet to, she's seriously great, amazing actually.

The pixie haired songstress can be heard here:
where her vocal only album is available to buy... MP3 only as she sold out of the hard copies last year!

also try:

and Itunes :)
ooh, and facebook of course! Delia Bueno de Mesquita.

ez peeps, let me know what you think!

Sara G

Jack said...

Hi Sara,

Thanks for the pointer. I don't know Delia's music and will definitely look her up. I see she has a MySpace page...probably a good place to start.