Friday, October 9, 2009

Etz Chaim Hi by Tanchum Portnoy and Blue Fringe

Shabbat Shalom and Chag Sameach everyone. I hope everyone has a great Simchat Torah.

For a get in the mood video this week, I thought I'd share a song and a story. Here's the story, last week I was at Shabbat services with my gang and the cantor led us in a version of Etz Chaim Hi that left me a bit befuddled. I was sure I'd heard the melody before, was sure that I'd never sung it, and was sure I hadn't heard it in the context of a service. So where did I hear it?

A little sleuthing later I think I've got it. The melody, composed by Tanchum Portnoy, is also used by the group Blue Fringe on their album "The Whole World Lit Up." I should say, they use a very different arrangement of a very very similar melody. I don't have the liner notes to WWLU handy. I'll dig them out or email Dov and see if I'm right.

Anyway, here's Portnoy's Etz Chaim Hi, sung by the choir at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburg, PA.

I haven't found a video or embedable player for Blue Fringe's Etz Chaim, but you can listen to it over at Last.Fm.

Hat tip to YouTube user Castodivo for posting the video.


Anonymous said...

Portnoy's melody is beautiful and reminds me of a couple of Soviet songs. I used to think that those were stolen from Etz Chaim, but recently I have learned that Portnoy's melody may be newer. Well, after all, it there are just 12 notes ;-) Anyway, I think I like another version of Etz Chaim better. Do you know who and when wrote that one?

Jack said...

Hi... which Etz Chaim are you thinking about? There are lots of versions.