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If there is a constancy in the life of the human being, it is death. All civilizations, cultures, societies, religions, have developed rites allowing humans to confront this often frightening passage because, in spite of the progress of science, it is still unknown.
The kaddish has become, since the Middle Ages, the traditional Jewish prayer for the dead. The text of this prayer is in Aramaic and it is a praise to God. However, kaddish also refers to music that sometimes accompanies prayer but can also be played on its own
Do Bist Mein Kaddish
Humor and self-mockery are an integral part of the Jewish spirit in reaction to the dramatic vagaries of history.
The Yiddish expression "Du bist mein kaddish" ironically links love and death: I have so much affection for you that you will recite my kaddish after I am gone!
The many kaddishes composed over time and in different places are surprisingly varied and far from always sad. Fascinated by this diversity, I have brought together a collection of kaddish compositions written from the 16th century to the present day.
Kaddish of Salomone Rossi (late 16th century). Maayan James - recorder
Shaya Feldman - Kaddish a la Mingus. Myriam Roth Ron - Singing
Last year, I created a video in an old cemetery in Jerusalem. The magic of the place and the brightness of the early morning hours captivated me. I played on my double bass the kaddish of an Israeli composer. It was then that the irresistible desire came to me to make the richness of this culture known to a wide audience.
Taking Kaddish out of the synagogue and the Jewish community to transplant it into a concert hall, in front of listeners of all faiths or atheists represents a challenge that I want to take up.
As with every composition, behind every kaddish hides an interesting story: who, for whom, how, why? For example, why did Ravel, who is not Jewish, feel the need to compose a Jewish kaddish? Why among Orthodox Jews, can kaddish become cheerful and lively music?
The double bass communicates the feeling of deepness as well as the deep human voice. It is heavy, but just like kaddish, it can be light and cheerful. This is why it is the instrument best suited to the concert I want to give. Accompanied by a single piano, the double bass can laugh and cry, and thus give voice to all the nuances of the human soul..
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