Friday, December 14, 2007

Yigdal on the Kinnor Lyre

Shabbat Shalom, everyone...

I've gotten into the habit lately of showcasing liturgical music on Friday. Just help us all get into the Shabbat spirit. Today I found an interesting rendition of the piyyut, (liturgical poem), Yigdal, which is based on Maimonides 13 articles of faith and often is used to close the Friday night Kabbalat Shabbat service. Yigdal has always been a personal favorite of mine (me and most Jews, I know) partly because of the text, partly because of the lovely melody and partly because I associate it with special occasions. The synagogue I attended growing up typically closed Friday services with Adon Olam, so Yigdal was a rare treat.

This performance is pretty interesting. The musician, who goes by "Klezfiddle1" regularly posts videos of himself playing on Kinnor Lyre and other instruments to YouTube. According to him...
"The Kinnor Lyre was the true "Harp of David",& was played by the Levites in the Temple of Jerusalem...after almost 2000 years of silence, following the destruction of the Temple by the Romans in 70 AD,the Kinnor can be now heard once my spare room, Salford, Lancashire!!"
Kinnor Lyre on a Bar Kokhba coin, 134-135 CEIf I understand this properly, the Kinnor Lyre was only recently recreated based on illustrations of it found on early coins. It can now be purchased for a reasonable price from early music stores, such as Lark in the Morning. Despite the lyre's reported pedigree, it doesn't seem like anyone else is that interested it. Anyone care to comment? Also, Klezfiddle1 is a fan of John Wheeler's "Music of the Bible Revealed," which I not very charitably posted about a while back. This makes Klezfiddle's claims seem a bit sketchy to me.

All of that aside, though, it's a nice performance of a lovely melody on a interesting instrument. Thanks Klezfiddle.


Update: Klezfiddle (aka Michael Levy) let me know that he updated his video. So I did too. He's also working on an album, you can keep track of his progress on his JubalsLyre MySpace page.
"This is a re-mix of an earlier version of this lovely hymn which I have previously uploaded - this version uses more interesting harmony...I shall be attempting to record it next week, during my (hopefully!) last studio recording session for my album."


Sword of Moses said...

That melody reaches into the Jewish soul and into anyone who cleaves to Torah. Toda for sharing, very well done. Shalom u'bracha.

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