The American Virtuosos Breathing Life into Old-Fashioned Cantorial Music

August 17, 2022 | Jon Kalish
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During the last 50 years, the elaborate, operatic style of early 20th-century cantors lost much of its popularity in favor of folksier or pop-inflected tunes, better suited to participatory singing. Yet some young ḥasidic ḥazanim have been keeping the art alive—although whether their activities constitute a revival or, as one cantor put it, “a dying gasp” remains to be seen. Jon Kalish reports. (Audio, 4 minutes. A full text and additional musical recordings are available at the link below.)

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