Saturday, August 13, 2005
Okay, I know, we're almost finished with the Three Weeks. Nevertheless, we should make mention of some wonderful 'a cappella' recordings that are available. For those that don't speak Italian, this means unaccompanied singing - without music instruments. Most poskim [but consult your local Rabbi] say that it is permissible to listen to such music during the Three Weeks and the Sefira period.
Most of your are familiar with Eli Gerstner's Chevra, and their recording of Reb Shlomo Carlebach's niggunim. Recently, there has been a release of some Twerski music in a cappella form. It's called "Shabbos in Milwaukee," presented by the "Karbrinsky Brothers." These are actually six cousins, from the Brown, Karsh and Pinsky families, whose families are part of R. Michel Twerski's kehilla in Milwaukee.
Two provisos - firstly, these are not professional singers but yeshiva guys who have put this recording together to raise funds for the family of R. Michel's daughter, whose husband, Rabbi Eliezer Geldzahler z"l, passed away tragically after being injured in a bus accident in Israel. Secondly, I don't know how easily available this recording is, but you can probably find out via the Twerski website which is linked on the left side of this blog [and also about helping the Twerski's daughter's family]. The CD has seven tracks, which include a Bobov niggun, six of R. Michel's niggunim, and "Tzaddik KaTamar" which one of the "Karbrinskys" composed in honor of Reb Michel.
Modzitz has a Machon, a music institute, which has issued four recordings, covering eight years, of the "new" niggunim of the previous Rebbe, the Imrei Aish ZT"L. The Chassidim used to gather together during Sukkos in Tel-Aviv and sing the Rebbe's newest niggunim, those that were composed for the New Year a mere two weeks before. So far, those for the years 5725  through 5732  have been released. More about this later on...
Finally, there's a wonderful recording called "Chassidishe Otzros, Vol. 2." This is from a really good group of young men from various Chassidic groups, who have gathered together to produce a beautiful a cappella recording of niggunim of Bobov, Belz, Ger, Vishnitz, Chabad, Modzitz, Melitz, Nadvorna, Skulen and Pittsburgh. All I can tell you is that the Modzitzer who sings here, R. Sinai Barmatz, has one of the sweetest voices I've heard, and this choir harmonizes beautifully! Besides being unaccompanied by musicians, the songs themselves are very appropriate for this time of year. Enjoy!!!
It's not half bad..