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Copley News Service, March 2005

"This will give you a taste - I underscore taste - of the works of 37 composers that are included in this marvelous collection of American Jewish music, a collection that is sure to become an important part of the recorded literature of all American music."

Jewish News Weekly of Northern California, March 2005

"Many pieces on the sampler are breathtaking."

Cantor Steven Blane
New Jersey Jewish Standard, March 2005

"To listen to its 19 selections... is to experience a sampling of the huge breadth of American Jewish music."

Joe McLellan, March 2005

""...wonderfully eclectic.""

Michael Barnes
XL (the weekly magazine of the Austin American-Statesman), March 2005

" educational experience..."

Peter Rabinowitz
International Record Review, March 2005

"It gives a good indication of the project's production values: up-to-date engineering, full and scholarly notes by Neil W. Levin (the Archive's Artistic Director), and translations...of sung material. The sampler also sketches out the aesthetic reach of the venture."

Jerry Dubins
Fanfare, March 2005

"...provides a table of hors d'oeuvres for what is to come."
"...Haskivenu... is particularly lovely."
"All of the performances here are top-notch."

Rob Barnett
MusicWeb International, October 2004

"This sampler draws tracks from the CDs issued as part of the Milken Archive initiative. The propulsive and dynamic Brubeck is powered along at full tilt crossed with a typically swaying Jewish accent. The Bernstein is more intently devotional - the other side of the coin. The down and dirty Hudl mitn shtrudl is the equivalent of a racy song by George Formby - saucy and with a clarinet played scatty Chassidic for all it is worth as slippery as oil. Not such a great step away is the Berber accented wildness of Wyner’s The Mirror. This contrasts with Milhaud’s grave solo violin-led Etudes on Liturgical Themes. Milhaud appears again with an extract from his Sacred Service - this is more joyous but controlled and somehow distant from a full surrender to the passions. The piece by Schorr for cantor and orchestra is similarly devout. Chajes' Old Jerusalem (for alto and orchestra) is more closely related to the devout Bernstein track and to the collection of Jewish songs recorded years ago by Netania Davrath (Vanguard). The same can be said of the Ernst Toch track in which the solo singer is clearly under too much strain. The Chajes song and the Rumshinsky seem to take us into an echt Wienerisch musical tradition - Lehár meets Kurt Weill - a gem of a duet. The darker devotions of the Lind track also reflect the prayerful stream of music-making as does the Kalib song (tr.17). Schoenfield’s concertos have been recorded before but not the Viola Concerto which at first is not as obviously Jewish as a Jewish celebration. The Achron I have already written about when reviewing the complete Achron disc - it is music of the utmost inventive resource - full of colourful technicolor rivalry among the instruments of the orchestra. Kaplan’s Psalms of Abraham in unison singing for young people has a simple line which at least superficially relates to the writing of Carl Orff in its unadorned iterative insistence. The Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Genesis has a Hollywoodian temperament with the voice of the orator drifting between that of Charlton Heston and Walter Cronkite. A female voice is ccompanied by Californian-serene string writing. A Biblical epic in sound. Robert Stern breaks free from previous conventions with its crystal shiver-clear singing for female voices - with only the slight twist in the tune proclaiming the Jewish heritage. Bruce Adolphe’s Ladino Songs could easily suit Ute Lemper in its darkly occluded mood. The last track is an excerpt from Weill’s The Eternal Road in hispered serenity from the choir and a pianissimo solo violin rise to the disturbing suggestion of disillusion. Serenity reflects the God of the sraelites while the wilder beat reflects the followers of the golden calf. Eventually the joyous ‘calf tune’ is taken over by the Israelites to reflect and excited joy."

Elaine Fine
American Record Guide, February 2004

"I look forward to hearing some of the recordings that will be part of this series. The short Wyner piece is very enticing, as is the promised recording of wedding music sung by Simon Shapiro. A very exciting excerpt from the Genesis Suite of Castelnuovo-Tedesco sparks my interest in hearing the complete recording. Bruce Adler's singing of Hudl Mitn Shtrudl stirs my interest in the newly-released Naxos recording called Great Songs of the American Yiddish Stage... This looks like a promising series of recordings."

Fanfare, December 2003

"This first CD to be released provides a table of hors d'oeuvres for what is to come...There is much on this disc, to look forward to...All of the performances here are top-notch."

Joe McLellan

""...wonderfully eclectic.""

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