Each time we return the Torah scroll to the ark, we ask God to “renew our days as of old.” We don’t ask to return to earlier times, rather, we hope to experience in our own time the same faith in God and joy in Torah that our ancestors knew. At Park Avenue Synagogue, we realize this hope in the music of our worship. Just as our predecessors on the bimah promoted new synagogue music, we commission new settings of the liturgy. The familiar words in new settings invigorate our services, helping us to express timeless prayers in our own way.
All of the pieces on this CD were composed in the past year. They range from a Kol Nidrei with a new sound to a rock beat Romemu, from a L’kha Dodi with Israeli flavor to a Sim Shalom in Broadway style. Some of the pieces follow the Hebrew words of the siddur; others express a prayer in English. Some of the pieces are a capella; others are accompanied by organ, piano, and other instruments. All the music was recorded in the Park Avenue Synagogue sanctuary with many singers and instrumentalists who participate in our services year-round.
The variety of musical styles featured on the Park Avenue Synagogue bimah offers worshippers of all ages and tastes different ways to become comfortable with services. We hope you will use this CD to learn some of our melodies. Services are more fun when you sing along. We look forward to seeing you and singing with you in the coming year.
Cantor Azi Schwartz
Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove
Arthur Penn, Chairman
Melvin Schweitzer, Chair of Music Committee
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