Cantor Mimi Sheffer and the Warsaw Singers directed by Sebastian Gunerka with organist Mirlan Kasymaliev have a created a tour de force in the new CD released as No. 1 of the Cilia: The Jewish Music Series. The collection contains eleven selections, most of them from Jewish liturgy, by various composers, with three of those composed by David Eisenstadt. The liner notes are written by the eminent Jewish musicologist and cantor Dr. Eliyahu Schleifer. Most of the settings will be familiar to American Reform Jews, but not all.
David Eisnstadt (1890-1942) was a conductor and composer of synagogue music who was well known in interwar Poland. Eisenstadt developed an outstanding choir in one of the most prestigious synagogues, the Great Tlomack Street Synagogue. He also composed original pieces for services such as a setting for L’cha Dodi and Sch’chula Achula which are included on the album. Most of Eisenstadt’s music is lost, after he perished in the Holocaust. Some pieces survived, and are on this “Ode to David Eisenstadt”.
This music is outstanding, and definitely worth considering for inclusion in the contemporary synagogue. This idea is the main aim of Mim Sheffer’s effort to find outstanding composed music from European Jews and make it possible to become part of today’s repertoire.
She makes an elegant advocate with her clear, strong soprano and the performances of this album.
For more information, visit: www. MimiSheffer.com