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COMPOSERS: Lewandowski
LABELS: Olympia
WORKS: Choral Works
PERFORMER: Zemel Choir/Robert Max
Together with Salomon Sulzer, the Polish-born Louis Lewandowski (1821-94) must be regarded as the most significant 19th-century composer of music for the synagogue. A number of his fluently melodious liturgical settings maintain their popularity with congregations up to the present day. This generous selection of his choral and cantorial works offers a useful appraisal of his achievement, although on the evidence of the material presented here, Lewandowski seems too enamoured with Mendelssohn to cultivate a style of great individuality. This proves somewhat debilitating in terms of creating sufficient variety over a long timespan. Nonetheless, the Zemel Choir and cantor Robert Brody certainly perform the music with great fervour. It’s regrettable, therefore, that Olympia fail to provide full texts and translations. Erik Levi