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The significance of Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody in eighteenth-century London

Alexander Knapp

<plain_text><page sequence="1">Jewish Historical Studies, volume 45, 2013 The significance of Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody in eighteenth-century London ALEXANDER KNAPP This essay begins with a brief introductory exploration of some of the musical interinfluences between synagogue and church that have been manifested over the centuries. That is followed by a short biography and assessment of the Jewish singer and composer Meier Leon in the context of the musical life, and the Jewish life, of London in the second half of the eighteenth century. Commentaries are then offered on the meaning and significance of the Yigdal hymn in general and of the specific musical setting attributed to Leon. Observations regarding the circumstances of the transformation of this syn agogue melody into a church setting for the text of Thomas Olivers's hymn The God of Abraham Praise lead to an analytical comparison of the two ver sions. The essay concludes with some thoughts about how this phenomenon may be seen as a precedent for the transfer of Jewish and Israeli melodies into the modern-day Church.1 Musical influence between synagogue and church The close relationship between the liturgy and music of the synagogue and those of the church has been traced back nearly two thousand years by numer ous scholars - Hanoch Avenari, Abraham Idelsohn, Curt Sachs and Eric Werner being among the most prominent during the twentieth century. Shared liturgies comprise, primarily, the entire Book of Psalms, the triple Kadosh which translates directly into the triple Sanctus and Hebrew exclamations such as "Halleluyah" and "Amen". There are also remarkable musical parallels that may be less familiar. Eric Werner has demonstrated convincing similarities 1 First presented during the 20th Annual Conference on "Music in Eighteenth-Century Britain", Royal College of Music, London, 26 Nov. 2004, and most recently for the Jewish Historical Society of England, St John's Wood Synagogue, London, 18 April 2013. 79</page><page sequence="2">Alexander Knapp between the melodic patterns of Yemenite-Jewish chant and Gregorian Chant, one example among many being the opening phrases of the traditional Yemenite Shema and the Te Deum Laudamus} Many of the earliest Christian precentors had originally been brought up in synagogues. When the church separated from the synagogue, they were retained as Psalmistae and continued to chant according to the Jewish tradition. Werner has drawn attention to two epitaphs in the catacombs of St Calixtus in Rome, referring, respectively, to singers named "Archdeacon Deusdedit" (literal translation from the Hebrew Y'honatan - Jonathan) and "Lector Redemptus" brought from Jerusalem under Pope Damasus in the fourth century.' However, as Christianity grew, new forms, texts and music were required and so the influence of the music of Judaism waned and eventually all but disappeared, as the two religions moved apart. Over the past thousand years, reverse osmosis has taken place, where European-Jewish music has found itself absorbing and being enriched by more and more sacred and secular elements from the wider Christian environment, both Catholic and Protestant. This article focuses on one of the very few excep tions to this general trend: the celebrated case of the Leoni Yigdal. Meier Leon in the context of the musical life, and the Jewish life, of London in the eighteenth century Meier Leon was known by many variants and spellings of his name: Myer Lyon, Master Lion, Master Lyons, Master Leoni, Michaele Leoni, Leon Singer of England (to cite but a few). His Hebrew name was Me'ir ben Yehudah Loeb and he was born in c. 1750. The place of his birth is unclear: Baldwin and Wilson give Frankfurt or Berlin;4 Roth suggests "probably" Poland;5 Werner describes him as "Jekel Singer of Prague",6 whereas Idelsohn makes a clear distinction between Jekel Singer and Leon Singer.7 2 Eric Werner, Hebrew Music (Cologne: Arno Volk Verlag, 1961), 9, from the series Anthology of Music: A Collection of Complete Musical Examples illustrating the History of Music, ed. K. G. Fellerer. Further comparisons may be made between e.g. the Yemenite rendering of Psalm 8 (Lamnatse'ach Al-Haggittit) and the First Gregorian Psalm Tone (10th century); the Ashkenazi Barechu for the High Festivals and Iste Confessor Domini Colentes (attributed to Paul Diakonus, b. 720 CE); Psalm 114 in the Ashkenazi tradition and Tonus Peregrinas', and, more generally, elements of biblical cantillation in Eastern Orthodox and Armenian chant. 3 Werner, Hebrew Music, 10. 4 Olive Baldwin and Thelma Wilson, "Michael Leoni", in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2nd ed. (London: Macmillan, 2001), vol. 14, 564. 5 Cecil Roth, "Leoni, Myer", in Encyclopedia Judaica, eds. Cecil Roth and Geoffrey Wigoder (Jerusalem: Keter Publishing House Ltd, 1971), vol. 11, 29. 6 Eric Werner, H Voice Still Heard... The Sacred Songs of the Ashkenazic Jews (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1976), 180. 7 A. Z. Idelsohn, Jewish Music in Its Historical Development (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1929), 220-21. 8o</page><page sequence="3">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody The latter may have been the brother-in-law of the English cantor and com poser Abraham Singer of Prosnitz (c. 1745-c. 1779), whose son John Braham (1774-1856) became a highly celebrated English concert singer of the day.8 There have been but few cantors throughout the ages whose supreme artistry in the secular world of the concert hall, theatre and opera house has been acknowledged as equal to that of their abilities as Shaliach tzibbur ("mes senger of the congregation"). Just as the Americans Jan Peerce and Richard Tucker achieved this rare status in the twentieth century, so did Meier Leon, the chorister, in the eighteenth. He was brought to England as a child to act as meshorrer (in Hebrew, a male musical assistant with a high voice)9 who would render the liturgy as a member of the traditional trio of cantor (chazan), low voice (bassista) and high voice (meshorrer) that was a regular feature of Ashkenazi synagogue worship during the Baroque era.10 However, Leon's professional life seems to have been initiated as a child on the London stage and only some years later did it extend to religious duties at the Great Synagogue, Aldgate. According to James Picciotto, the nineteenth-century historian, "[Leon] possessed a tuneful head, and he composed light and sacred melody. He adapted some Synagogue airs to Church hymns, but he preserved strictly his religion, declining to appear on the stage on Friday nights and Festivals."11 What were the circumstances that enabled Meier Leon to function equally successfully in the separate worlds of sacred and secular song? Enquiries into the theatrical history of England reveal that the social status of Jewish actors rose considerably during the eighteenth century. Jews were considered to some extent "exotic"; and although the critics of the day expressed them selves in terms that ranged from philosemitism to antisemitism, the doors of the theatre were fully open to Jews. Furthermore, various self-imposed restrictions - notably, the religious prohibition concerning performances by Jews on Friday nights and Sabbaths, or the eves and days of Festivals - seem to have been readily accommodated by theatre proprietors and audiences. Leon made his secular début at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 13 8 Braham received his first singing lessons as a child from Leon. For a discussion of the familial and professional relationship between Braham and Meier Leon, see David Conway, "John Braham - from meshorrer to tenor", Jewish Historical Studies: Transactions ofthe Jewish Historical Society of England (hereafter, Transactions) 41 (2007): 37-41 and 55. See also Cecil Roth, History of the Great Synagogue, London, 1690-1940 (London: Edward Goldston and Son Ltd, 1950), 145. 9 Either a young boy with a soprano voice, known also by the Yiddish/German term singer!, or a tenor of more mature years. 10 The chazan would stand at the Reading Desk, flanked on his right by the meshorrer and on his left by the bassista. While the cantor improvised solo recitatives, the other two singers would extem porize, thus fulfilling the function of a quasi-choral accompaniment. On Yom Kippur and other special occasions, they might take on a more prominent role, so that the cantor could rest his voice. 11 James Vicdotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History (London: 1875), 148. 8i</page><page sequence="4">Alexander Knapp December 1760, as a boy of about ten, in the role of a sprite in The Enchanter; or Love and Magic, a musical entertainment by David Garrick, with music by John Christopher Smith; his beautiful voice immediately made a deep impact on the audience.12 Thereafter, he appeared on the stage for two seasons. The years 1769-70 saw him participating in Harlequin's Jubilee, a new pantomime at Covent Garden, which ran to thirty performances. In 1770 and 1771 he appeared at Finch's Grotto Gardens, Southwark, after which he played a season in Dublin. In November 1774, he sang Handel during a concert at the Isle worth home of Aaron Franks, to which many members of the aristocracy had been invited; Horace Walpole, one of the guests, commented on "his genuine simple style" and the "full melancholy melody in his voice, though a falsetto,13 that nothing but a natural voice can ever compass."14 The 1775— 76 season saw Leon at the height of his powers and regarded as perhaps the greatest English tenor of his time. In April 1775, at the age of twenty-five, he appeared at Covent Garden as Arbaces in Thomas Arne's Artaxerxes and the following November he was cast in the lead role of Don Carlos in The Duenna, a comic opera by Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816),15 with music by the two Thomas Linleys (father and son), which ran successfully for 75 consec utive performances, but never on a Friday night. Plate 1 shows "Mr Leoni" as "Don Carlos" and "Mrs. Mattocks" as "Louisa".16 Sheridan, who created the role of Don Carlos especially for Leon, had mixed feelings about Leon's voice. His positive view was revealed in a letter17 he wrote to Thomas Linley the Elder: "I have observed... that he never gets so much applause as when he makes a cadence."18 Another contemporary commentator opined: "He executed the divisions19 with a degree of neatness 12 Barry Weinberg, "Aspects of Jewish Contributions to Musical Life in Britain, 1770-1820", Transactions 34 (1994-6): 225. See also idem, "Some Thoughts on Jewish Music Contributions to Musical Life in Britain from the Eighteenth to the Twentieth Century", Proceedings of the First International Conference on Jewish Music at City University, London, April igg4 (1997): 193. 13 Although there is no Jewish tradition of adult male soprano or male alto singers (and least of all castrati), many cantors of today use a pianissimo Kopfstimme (akin to falsetto) when chanting par ticularly poignant sections of the liturgy, in order to intensify their rendering. 14 Roth, Great Synagogue, 144-5. See also Baldwin and Wilson, "Michael Leoni", 564-5. 15 Sheridan had originally intended the principal male character to be "Cousin Moses", a Jew, but then considered that the role might be too personally applied to Leon. Accordingly, he changed the name to Don Carlos. See Thomas Moore, Memoirs of the Life of the Right Honourable [sic] Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 2 vols (London: Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green, 1825) vol. i, 113. See also Lewis Sowden and Frederick Lachman, "Theater: From 1600 to the 20th Century: England", in Encyclopedia Judaica (1972), vol. 15,1053. 16 Shown in Roth, "Leoni, Myer", vol. 11,30. 17 Quoted in Moore, Memoirs, vol. 1, 161. 18 "Cadence" here refers to vocal cadenza in which florid improvisation and extreme virtuosity may be introduced, especially towards the end of an aria. 19 Rapid scale passages. 82</page><page sequence="5">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody D ITENNA Aa I W. LB "XI «'/&lt;( ■ ~M" HATTtiCVS , /if ( 'arlo* ////// Lout là . ( n r. Htí/iStí Zff W fi //V • /rtfaéf'rff/ ir/fffl &gt;/, I &gt; r i v fZ / ffjf/f r ///*// -, i'r, • DUENNA Aal U ' lE OX t //W . It", IfATTOCKS, /?■&gt;■ Carlos a/of Lout fa , {Vr. Ha/flti Am rf /w^v/, Z}&gt;•' &gt; r /v // W //////,- r ///&gt;u i'r. ■ Plate i Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Duenna, 1775: Mr Leoni and Mrs Mattocks and articulation, that could not fail of giving delight to a cultivated ear."20 David Conway has insightfully observed that Leon's coloratura may have resembled not so much the vocal technique typical of contemporary Italian opera as the cantorial performance practice of the synagogue.21 This "other ness" is further suggested in an anonymous review entitled "Critique on the Theatrical Merits of Mr. Leoni" in the June 1777 edition of the Westminster Magazine: "[T]he truth is, that Leoni has no voice at all - his tones being neither vocal nor instrumental. They have a peculiarity of soul in them that we 20 General Evening Post, London, 17/19 October 1775, quoted in T. J. Walsh, Opera in Dublin 170s— 1797: The Social Scene (Dublin 1973), 232, and Cecil Price, ed., The Letters of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 3 vols (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), vol. 3, 88-9. See also Conway, "John Braham", 55. 21 Conway, "John Braham", 55. 83</page><page sequence="6">Alexander Knapp never heard before."22 This connects with Sheridan's negative perspective, as expressed to Linley: "I should tell you that he sings nothing well but in a plaintive or pastoral style; and his voice is such as appears to me always to be hurt by much accompaniment."23 A further shortcoming that truly handicapped Leon's stage career in later years was "The total absence of any ability as an actor [that] rendered his recitatives tedious and insipid."24 And a related problem for Leon was that, while he could sing in English, his familiarity with the spoken language was so limited as to render his pronunciation almost unintelligible. "Sheridan showed much ingenuity in contriving to give him much to sing and little to say."25 Leon played regularly in Dublin from 1777, and on the London stage until 1782. In 1783 he and Tommaso Giordani started the English Opera Company in Dublin but it foundered and he became bankrupt. By 1784, when he was only in his mid"30s, his voice was failing. Occasional appearances in London and the provinces culminated in a Benefit Concert at Covent Garden in 1787, during which Leon's nephew and pupil John Braham made his début.26 During the period under discussion, Leon constantly vacillated between the secular and the sacred. What, then, of his activities in the synagogue? The Great Synagogue, Duke's Place, Aldgate, was built in 1722, rebuilt in c. 1766, enlarged in 1790 and destroyed in 1941.27 In the mid-late eighteenth century it was regarded as the most important of London's four metropolitan Ashkenazi synagogues.28 Plate 2 shows an anonymous engraving of the exterior of the building dating from about 1835 and plate 3 is an engraving of the inte rior drawn by Pugin and Rowlandson in 1809.29 The religious services were renowned for their decorum and high musical quality. The Rev. Charles Wesley30 visited the synagogue one Friday evening in 1770 and wrote in his 22 Quoted in Walsh, Opera in Dublin, 231. 23 Moore, Memoirs, vol. 1,161. See also Conway, "John Braham", 55. 24 Walsh, Opera in Dublin, 232. See also Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, 141: "His appearance on the Boards was a failure merely because he had not the slightest conception of the histrionic art." 25 Blackwood's Magazine, July 1826, quoted in Cecil Price, The Dramatic Works of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, 2 vols (Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1973), vol. 1,196. 26 Roth, Great Synagogue, 145. 27 The intention of Roth's book, published in 1950, was to celebrate the quarter-millennium from the founding of the congregation in 1690 until 1940. The original text was retained intact despite the destruction of the synagogue by an air raid on 11 May 1941. 28 Ibid., 143-5. 29 The original of the engraving of the exterior is unknown. It is one of 600 appearing in Charles Frederick Partington, ed., National History and Views of London: from Original Drawings, by Eminent Artists, 2 vols. (London: Black and Armstrong, 1835). The engraving of the interior was drawn by Augustus Pugin and Thomas Rowlandson, and published in Rudolph Ackermann, Microcosm of London (London: R. Ackermann, 1808-10), pi. 082. Both engravings are reproduced here by courtesy of the Jewish Museum London. 30 Charles and his brother John are credited with being the founders of the Methodist Church. 84</page><page sequence="7">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody Plate 2 The Great Synagogue: exterior, 1835 Plate 3 The Great Synagogue: interior, 1809 I ;</page><page sequence="8">Alexander Knapp Journal: "I never before saw a Jewish congregation behave so decently. Indeed the place itself is so solemn that it might strike an awe [sic] upon those who have any thought of God."31 A further favourable assessment is given by Le Comte de Mirabeau in his Letters from England: "The psalmody32 of the English syn agogue surprises one by the sweetness and agreeable simplicity of its modula tion."33 These are in direct contrast to Samuel Pepys's celebrated account of his visit to the Creechurch Lane Synagogue (1657-1701, the forerunner of the Bevis Marks Synagogue established in 1701) on Simchat Torah, Wednesday, 14 October 1663, which he had criticized with undisguised hostility.34 All these reactions - positive and negative - suggest that their respective authors may either have had previous uncongenial experiences of attending synagogue serv ices themselves or may have read unflattering accounts by other writers. Not having the benefit of modern ethnomusicological theory, they would have been tempted to make judgements about synagogue practice according to the criteria of worship prevalent in the Western churches of the time. Yet, even today, con gregants of Jewish Reform and Liberal synagogues, strongly influenced by Western values, often react negatively to the "orientalism" and "lack of decorum" of the Orthodox synagogue, just as congregants of Orthodox syna gogues may feel uncomfortable in what they regard to be the "cold" and "silent" atmosphere of a non-Orthodox synagogue. In 1767, Leon, then in his mid-late teens, was appointed Meshorrer to the Great Synagogue35 - but only on condition that he behaved as a Yehudi kasher (Observant Jew)36 and that he would sing at the synagogue on Friday nights. To this he readily agreed. So began his assistantship to the clean-shaven, white-wigged Hazan (sic) Isaac Elias (Itsik) Polack from Hamburg, who offi ciated as the Chief Reader (Cantor) of the Great Synagogue for 56 years (1746-1802).37 Whether it was he to whom the non-Jewish community applied the term "Priest", or to David Tevele Schiff from Frankfurt-am Main, who officiated as the rabbi of the synagogue from 1765 till 1791, remains unclear. Two musical assistants were taken on by the synagogue during this period: Joseph ben Leizer Lazarus as the Reader in 1778 and Isaac ben Joseph Levy as the Assistant Hazan in 178o.38 31 Quoted in Roth, Great Synagogue, 144. See also Weinberg, "Aspects of Jewish Contributions", 225. 32 More correctly translated from the French as "chanting". 33 Quoted in Picciotto, Sketches of Anglo-Jewish History, 141. 34 The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A New and Complete Transcription, eds. Robert Latham and William Matthews, 11 vols (London: G. Bell and Sons Ltd, 1971), vol. 4,335. 35 In later years, Meier Leon and John Braham performed together as choristers in the Great Synagogue; see Weinberg, "Aspects of Jewish Contributions", 228. 36 Roth, Great Synagogue, 144. 37 Ibid., 82 and 142-3. See also Weinberg, "Aspects ofjewish Contributions", 225. 38 Roth, Great Synagogue, 143. 86</page><page sequence="9">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody However, it was Leon whose vocal technique and musicianship were con sidered supreme, despite any of the foregoing commentaries to the contrary. And it was he who attracted the many Christian visitors attending services at the Great Synagogue. Notable among them was Charles Wesley who, as men tioned earlier, visited in 1770: "I was desirous to hear Mr Leoni sing at the Jewish synagogue... The sweetness of his voice created a veritable furore."39 When, though, Leon's fine salary was reduced by a sizeable proportion in 1772, he left officially for a career on the stage. Whether his departure was a result of dwindling synagogue finances or because he had been caught giving a public performance of Handel's Messiah is open to debate.40 Nevertheless, he returned to the synagogue from time to time and composed melodies for the High Holy Day liturgy,41 which were sung regularly in English syna gogues, until they were superseded by the music of cantors arriving from abroad around 1814 and 1815. The circumstances surrounding Leon's emigration to Kingston, Jamaica, towards the end of his life are as unclear as the facts of his early childhood on the continent of Europe. By the end of the 1780s, the Ashkenazi community of Kingston had built a new synagogue and were contacting the religious authorities in London for advice on appointing a "Reader". Leon applied for the position - partly, it seems, to escape his creditors - and was duly appointed. Now, for the first time, he was a cantor in his own right - the first in the English colonies to be fully qualified.42 He lived and worked in Kingston until his death and was buried in the Old Jewish Cemetery, Elletson Road. His epitaph reads: "Mr Michael Leoni, Principal Reader of our Congregation and one of the first singers of the age, died suddenly on Sunday 6 November 1796."43 He was in his mid-late 40s. The Yigdal hymn: its meaning and significance What was the melody that brought Leon great fame, not only within the Jewish community but also world-wide among the Anglican and Non-con formist churches? Before addressing the particular musical setting under dis cussion, we should explore something of the background to the text of the Yigdal and its place in Jewish liturgy. The word Yigdal means "May He be magnified" and it is the opening word of a metrical hymn most frequently attributed to the Roman, Daniel ben 39 Ibid., 144. See also Weinberg, "Aspects ofjewish Contributions", 225. 40 Roth, Great Synagogue, 145; Weinberg, "Aspects ofjewish Contributions", 226. 41 Goodman Lipkin, "Lyon (Leoni), Myer", in Singer, Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 8, 229, refers specifically to settings for the Musaf services on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. 42 Ibid., 229. 43 Roth, Great Synagogue, 145. See also Baldwin and Wilson, "Michael Leoni", 565. 87</page><page sequence="10">Alexander Knapp inis-jp n;* po sow • rarer1'Hon+ui •fpnb*? ' •nura-rrrî'Ni-inN H—iri-ip ¥¿* "Wp'tfr ' 'rTSTpnT'Xipnpjn ' N-pjrawrapp^pnr r—ichai irh-a rrvr • yttS&amp;i/y psun u—rwarn r^TO %m¡&gt; • Saunvima^sr T-^onm ot» srg? ' nf'n^aaSrt?"a or if jr—rafSNUwrup:^ * ^i^jrara^irrr 1£—f~~nh arahp *n -rer i-g -*n f-*v k ! , ^pgj_rT,^nJrï %TT^Jli^p ' ^aos-onc^^iî -■■- p^pparrnP j unrupri^i-ípp •., •bit. ipap-y-y «*13 ' :i *"m. Nw^ásj» «"WW • ran &gt; vp,-, s 1 I -s. rprr".*"** -çc t-b/ : ,.¡ jp-^,- ■ jp.. x^. |¡&gt;ísnsspJlpis* IK -.Jn ',1 » ^TTT • hapcn-harrtis irii i':wh qipp? as»tfa - riii^-itr pjj-a-w %—.s-i-ip r%"pigf In ;l|WT3w|^«3n4^K 'r-~NThn&lt;!i(s-ipNip»Ni • KiBywK-n^V'ifT :;*—(chai irN*| rryp • r"fS|t &lt;r—n,vani irKso *bm» • ^^jpsEgin^?aahe %—&lt;jiarrw sraji so? • i^i^Srjtra q* jf jH ^^jlseMsTM-T"?® • Sj.ioj^ft^prrnp .il—*-xfr a&amp;ifr tn -raw1— -an s^Hr sn i»—rarpa -n- tjic^©' ■ ^so^-crc-K-Hau ',:# . • -smferaijff iir % h^apiry "ts' ww^^v§ji&gt; \ ' ' I :*^lr ""J******* rytjtn • ' \0tA •r-.'r*w • -•*«• i-B/ ,K j rasra :v ■B Plate 4 Yigdal text in Hebrew, 1776 Yehudah Dayyan, a Jewish religious judge, who completed it in 1404 after eight years' work.44 Nearly every line echoes a verse from the Hebrew Bible. The full text in Hebrew is shown in plate 4, a reproduction from the parchment book entitled "The London Prayer Book According to the Polish Rite", dated 1776, which was presented by Hazan Polack to the Great Synagogue in the same year.45 Plate 5 shows the Hebrew text with a modern English translation.46 Wesley Milgate, Songs ofthe People of God (London: Collins, 1982), 23, suggests the date of com pletion as some time during the first half of the 14th century; there are scholars who attribute the text to Immanuel Ben Solomon of Rome. "The London Prayer Book According to the Polish Rite". Yigdal is among the first (no page number shown) of the 249 leaves inscribed by Baruch ben Shemaryahu, Sopher, London (orig inally from Brest Litovsk), 1776. Courtesy of Jewish Museum London (Item 628). I am most grateful to Jeremy Schonfield for having brought this document to my attention. Joseph H. Hertz, The Authorized Daily Prayer Book, Revised Edition (New York: Bloch Publishing Company, 1965), 400-01. Hertz adds a quotation from the Takanah of the Great Synagogue, London, 1772: "The minhag of this Synagogue shall be the Polish minhag as used in Hamburg, with the addition of Yigdal to be chanted at the end of the Friday Evening Service."</page><page sequence="11">Meier Leon s Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody 401 EVENING SERVICE FOR SABBATHS: yigdal tIie&gt;AL ' The living God we praise, exalt, adore ! PMN- He was, He is. He will be evermore ! CIPLES OF the No unity like unto His can be : iiAtTH Eternal, inconceivable is He. No form, or shape has the incorporeal One, Most holy He, past all comparison. He was, ere aught was made in heaven, or earth, But His existence has no date, or birth. Lord of the Universe is He proclaimed, Teaching His power to all His hand has framed. He gave His gift of prophecy to those In whom He gloried, whom He loved and chose. No prophet ever yet has filled the place Of Moses, who beheld God face to face. Through him (the faithful in His house) the Lord The law of truth to Israel did accord. This Law God will not alter, will not change For any other through time's utmost range. He knows and heeds the secret thoughts of man : He saw the end of all ere aught began. With love and grace doth He the righteous bless, He metes out evil unto wickedness. He at the last will His anointed send, Those to redeem, who hope, and wait the end. God will the dead to life again restore. Praised be His glorious Name for evermore I " The minhag of this Synagogue shall be the Polish minhag as used in Hamburg, with the addition of Yigdal to be chanted at the end of every Friday Evening Service —Takanah of the Great Synagogue, London, 1722. The melody of Yigdal on Sabbath and Festival eves is of amoving swinging, and triumphant quality, lire same is true of Adon Olom at the end of the Sabbath Morning Service ; p. 550. roe'V reaiy «o : initexp-Sa ny axpj • napp'] &lt;q d'îiSn : innna1? t¡io pa bji a^yj • hm;? to; ins ¡ 1^5 •rjiayj siV • «fu ira) epao rivaT 'h pa rre&gt;m ¡iete? 'trjp apte ipT1??1? !®lp ; irrito1? s indpw ir(r[!¡ rrti' axb-W? • aViy ¡Vt$ bo : taosshl bro força: ysp* : foqaiyrrç e&gt;sw • tepj Ty neto? Saapp? ap th i in1? jp$ ia'33 t bs • toy1? |w nan rrfim : inW? B'pSiy^ irrj Tp; áS; fpSiy th : inpnp? npn tfé? B'?P '«'POP ÏJh nsix : inyph? yn yah1? yja • i®wpp? nap Sab i foiMp p¡3 'sop ' »p'Ç&gt;p PP; TpV rht. : irfcnp ap it ynt ' "ph íi| W to; ayip This hymn opens the Morning Service, and is the concluding hymn on Sabbath and Festival eves. English Jews thus also "lose their devotions on those sacred occasions as faithjiU Jews, believing i» the existence of a Creator one, spiritual and eternal; believing in Prophecy and the Tenth of Moses ; in the rule of justice in God's universe ; in the Messiah, and in the immortality of the soul ; see p. &lt;t 401 EVENING SERVICE FOR SABBATHS: yigdal tIie&gt;AL ' The living God we praise, exalt, adore! phin- lie was, He is. He will be evermore ! CIPLES OP the No unity like unto His can be : iiAtTH Eternal, inconceivable is He. No form, or shape has the incorporeal One, Most holy He, past all comparison. He was, ere aught was made in heaven, or earth, But His existence has no date, or birth. Lord of the Universe is He proclaimed, Teaching His power to all His hand has framed. He gave His gift of prophecy to those In whom He gloried, whom He loved and chose. No prophet ever yet has filled the place Of Moses, who beheld God face to face. Through him (the faithful in His house) the Lord The law of truth to Israel did accord. This Law God will not alter, will not change For any other through time's utmost range. He knows and heeds the secret thoughts of man : He saw the end of all ere aught began. With love and grace doth He the righteous bless, He metes out evil unto wickedness. He at the last will His anointed send, Those to redeem, who hope, and wait the end. God will the dead to life again restore. Praised be His glorious Name for evermore I " The minhag of this Synagogue shall be the Polish minhag as used in Hamburg, with the addition of Yigdal to be chanted at the end of every Friday Evening Service —Takanah of the Great Synagogue, London, 1722. The melody of Yigdal on Sabbath and Festival eves is of amoving swinging, and triumphant quality, lire same is true of Adon Oiom at the end of the Sabbath Morning Service ; p. 550. mi?'? rraay «*&gt; : irna'xa-Sa ny ptej axaj • nap?'') &lt;$ BFijhss : inrtna1? tjio pa bji nby) • rrtryj to; pai ana i vSa aV • ira) wsp ib pa m^ai pa] Jie^ai 'an?] iipa "ffrSy1? fleip : irr^a-i1? s Smdpi ir^ta nip nsii-Wp • aViy ji-ts? bo : taoasD] 'eba-'ja ijnp ina»? ysf* : inpap-na a'san • a'p} "iiy neto? Saapai op th i irrj |paj itr?? i» by • bis toy1? |0? naa mis : Srbik D'p'piy1? inn 1'p; aSi *?an si'Sn: aS : inp"p npn trya '«"?np yap] nsis : inyph? yy yEh1? jrfo • iWypy npp Sais i inMp pj3 'sop ' sptfp pp; Pj3^ rhp&gt; : inWw at? is &gt;yy, ipna • inpn am W nw ayiy This hymn opens the Morning Service, and is the concluding hymn on Sabbath and Festival eves. English Jews thus also close their devotions on those snored occasions as faithjiU Jews, believing to* the existence of u Creator one, spiritual and eternal; believing ia Prophecy and the Tenth of Moses; id the rule of justice in God's universe ; in the Messiah, and in the immortality of the soul; sec p. ft Plate 5 Yigdal text in Hebrew and English, 1965 Every line of Hebrew text ends with one of the following syllables: -uto (or -uso, according to traditional Ashkenazi pronunciation), -ato (-oso), -ito (-iso), -arto and -éto (-éso). In the Ashkenazi tradition, shown in plate 4, the poem covers thirteen lines, one for each of the "Thirteen Articles of Faith", as first formulated by the celebrated Jewish philosopher Moses ben Maimón (Maimonides), who lived in Spain between 1135 and 1204. The Spanish and Portuguese Jews add a further two lines at the end. Line 14 reads: "These are the Thirteen Principles of our faith, they are the foundation of faith in God and of his Law." Line 15 is a repetition of line 13.47 Ashkenazi Jews often chant this hymn antiphonally, the cantor taking the odd-numbered lines and the con gregation the even-numbered. Sephardi congregations tend to sing this hymn in congregational unison, and may repeat the final line after the cantor. Ashkenazi Jews have traditionally sung Yigdal at the beginning or ending of the weekday morning service (Shacharit) but increasingly they follow the Sephardic, Italian and Yemenite practice of chanting it at the close of Sabbath and Festival evening services. 47 Solomon Gaon, Book of Prayer ofthe Spanish and Portuguese Jems' Congregation, London (Oxford University Press, 1980), 90-91. 89</page><page sequence="12">Alexander Ktiapp There are numerous melodies of varying age and provenance for this hymn: some tunes are based on nusach (the Jewish modal system, analogous to the Arabic maqam or the Indian raga), whereas others are adapted from the secular environment. However, their common characteristic is the expression of a mood of pride and cheerfulness. The Leoni Yigdal melody Of the seven Yigdal melodies cited by Francis L. Cohen in The Jewish Encyclopedia, No. 2 ( Yigdal-B) is designated "Leoni".48 This tune, shown in plate 6, is frequently sung on the eve of Sabbaths and Festivals particularly in England, and also by Jews of German, Polish and Czech background. There is some debate as to whether Leon actually composed or simply "rearranged" this version of Yigdal,49 for many similar melodies in various Eastern European Jewish traditions (especially Bohemian, Moravian and Polish) have been passed down the generations by oral transmission. The tune is found also in Sephardi50 and non-Jewish Spanish, Basque, Old French and Southern Slavic repertoires; and it resembles several motifs in Smetana's tone-poem "Vltava (Moldau)" from Ma Vldst, as well as the Hatikvah. Some of the older variants may have been widely disseminated as a result of constant Jewish peregrinations. Idelsohn has shown persuasively how closely related some of these melodies are;51 the first double-page of his "Table of Folks songs [siV] Compared with the Yigdal tune" is given in plate 7. The Yigdal tune attributed to Leon can be found in one of the older collections of Jewish cantorial music transcribed in Western notation, namely, the 1791 manu script of Cantor Ahron Beer (b. Bamberg, 1738; d. Berlin, 1821; cantor in Berlin 1765-1821). This valuable anthology, now held in the Library of the Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati, comprises 447 cantorial chants, which follow the order of the liturgy for almost the entire religious calendar.52 The music consists of compositions and arrangements of the traditional modes for the Sabbath and Festivals by Beer himself and by other local and foreign Francis L. Cohen, "Yigdal", in Singer, Jewish Encyclopedia (1905), vol. 12, 607. See also Bathya Bayer and Aaron Rothkoff, "Yigdal", in Encyclopedia Judaica (1972), vol. 16, 833-5. A. Z. Idelsohn, "The Synagogue Song of the East European Jews. Chapter 3: Melodies", Thesaurus of Hebrew-Oriental Melodies, 10 vols in 4 fols (New York: Ktav Publishing House, 1973), vo'- 8, xix-xx. See also H. Mayerowitsch, "The Chazanim of the Great Synagogue, London", Transactions ^ (1942): 87-8. See e.g. the Psalms of Praise (Hallel) in general and in particular the traditional Portuguese melody for the prayer for dew on the Festival of Sukkot. Idelsohn, Jewish Music, 222-5. The earliest transcriptions ofcantorial music can be traced back as far as 1744. See A. Z. Idelsohn, "The Synagogue Song of the German Jews in the 18. Century", Thesaurus of Hebrew-Oriental Melodies, vol. 6, xxv. 90</page><page sequence="13">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody YIGDAL—B (" Leoni") [te=q =fs=== _ — — * - 1 *:\ - • qr -—M ( Sf L*zz ,—_4— EX. j— 4—r-L-M-t ' -p t=r—! 1 1 Hazzan: Yig - dal E - lo - him hay, we - yish - tab - bah, Nim-za we-en *et me - zi 'u - to. Congregation: E - had, we - en ya - hid ke - yi - hu - do, Ne' - lam, we - gam en sof le - ah' - da - to. Plate 6 The Leoni Yigdal after F. L. Cohen, 1905 JEWISH MUSIC THE ASHKENAZIC SONG TABLE XXVIII Table of Folks-songs Compared with the Yigdal tune 3. Polish, Collection Noskowski p.aiB 5. Dort wo die Zedcr G. Yigdal 7. Basque Vir-gen do la Cue-va qien-te vi-noa Leh le-sa-lom ge-se Pod Kra - ko-w J-ÍW 1 .1,111 : r"i • , 1 g ^ *-*-» i r r Kol od bal - le - vav pu - ni - Dort, wo die Ze-der schlankdie Wol-ke Yig-dal e - lo-him ehay wo -yish-ta-l&gt;ack,nim. ¡tüfrj.1,1 rf%' ff-lf » r i i r i niu wij - wi - jal Ya - sio na - ko =*== I I K &gt;, I T—I 7-TS=5-^r= fes je - hu - di ho - mi - küssi, dort, wo die schnel-le Jor-dans-quel-le tzo we-en es el me. tzi-u-so, e-chod we-en yo-chid ke rb 'il i. I .. i-t—r HP I IK i—I—A— » JEWISH MUSIC THE ASHKENAZIC SONG TABLE XXVIII Table of Folks-songs Compared with the Yigdal tune Spanish cancio Sj£: Pcdrcil II 106 sp 3. Polish, Collection Noskowski p.aiB 5. Dort wo die Zedcr G. Yigdal 7. Basque Vir-gen do la Cue Leh lc-sa-lom ge-se Pod Kra - ko-w fill - Hi : r"; • , 1 ^ *-*-« i r r Kol od bal - le - vav pu - ni - Dort, wo die Ze-der schlankdie Wol-ke Yig-dal o - lo-him ehay wo -y isli - ta-bach, "i 'i i in tal ki rav lo - ho - si - a u - mo - rid ha - » r I I r I niu wij - wi -jal Ya - sio na - ko Ht . I 1 Is Is I I I -T-T- .. r~ fes je - hu - di ho - mi - kiissi, dort, wo die schnel-le Jor-dans-quel-le tzo we-en es el me- tzi -u-so, e- ohod we-en yo-chid ke "rrr i 11 1 Hi i. i .. Plate 7 Idelsohn's table of comparisons for the Yigdal tune, 1929 9i</page><page sequence="14">Alexander Knapp cantors of the day. The Yigdal melody under consideration here is one of twelve pieces in Beer's manuscript ascribed to "Leon Singer of England".53 The God of Abraham Praise by Thomas Olivers Before relating the events that determined the entry of the Leoni Yigdal into the Christian canon, I begin with a few words on the background of the Methodist preacher who was responsible for this rare gesture. Thomas Olivers was born in Tregynon, Montgomeryshire, in 1725 and died in London in 1799. He became a Wesleyan minister in 1753 and travelled throughout England and Ireland preaching the gospel with great energy and emotion. In the early 1770s, Olivers visited the Great Synagogue, while staying as a guest at the Westminster house of a fellow Methodist preacher, John Bakewell (1721-1819). The narrative is taken up by Glyn Tegai Hughes in his introduction to Olivers's short autobiography: "[Olivers] was so capti vated by the singing that he resolved to write a Christian hymn to the pattern of the Hebrew Yigdal, with its theme of thanksgiving to God. One account has it that he was particularly inspired by a tune sung by the Cantor [s/r] Leoni; another is that he asked Leoni to suggest a suitable synagogue melody. Certainly the tune to which the hymn has long been sung bears the name Leoni. The hymn itself was apparently written at Bakewell's home".54 Indeed, The God of Abraham Praise was enthusiastically received when it was published for the first time by S. Creswell in Nottingham in 1772. Plate 8 shows the title page of Olivers's eight-page edition, dated 1775, entitled A Hymn to the God of Abraham.5* It went through eight editions in under two years and by 1799 had reached its 30th edition. Many thousands of copies were sold among Anglican and Non-conformist church communities throughout Britain, the British Empire and North America;56 Olivers's hymn has been continuously Ibid. The same melody, in a slightly modified form, is included in the monumental cantorial compendium by Abraham Baer, Baal T'fillah, oder Derpractische Vorbeter (Gothenberg, 1877), 169, no. 760. Glyn Tegai Hughes, ed., Thomas Olivers ofTregynon: The Life of an Early Methodist Preacher: written by himself(Gregynog, Newtown, Powys: Gwasg Gregynog, 1979), 10. Although this book includes various anecdotal references to the period of the early 1770s, it may seem surprising that no mention is made by Olivers of his experience at the Great Synagogue. See also Idelsohn, Jewish Music, 220; Weinberg, "Aspects of Jewish Contributions", 226. A Hymn to the God of Abraham. In Three parts: Adapted to a celebrated Air, sung by the Priest, Signior Leoni, at the Jews' Synagogue in London (Nottingham: S. Creswell, 1775). Title page reproduced by courtesy of Skinner, Inc., (Marlborough, ma). The 6th ed. was published in Philadelphia in 1773. The hymn was included in The Christian Lyre published by Joshua Leavitt (New York, 1831). Among later American hymnbooks in which it appeared, see The Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church (New York, 1906 [1916]), no. 253; Church Hymnal of the Protestant Episcopal Church (Boston, 1925), no. 460. In Canada, the hymn is known as The God of Bethlehem Praise. See The Hymn Book of the Anglican Church of Canada 92</page><page sequence="15">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody A Y M N TO THE GOD OF ABRAHAÏ IN T H R E E FAR T S: ADAPTED To a cskhraisd Air, Jang by ibe Prie J, Siguier &gt;Z,eot¡Ír, Wt, at the JeisJ'i Synagoguet in Léné-n : By T H O M A S OU Y 1RS, I am the God of Abraham. Exi'd. J. &lt;6. He is THY Praije, and He is thy God. Deut. io. 21 Stand up and praije the Lofto your Gars far ever ever. Neh. 9. 5. 1 will fing Prai/ei unto my God, while I have any M '"s- rjài. 146.2. ¡yji NOTTINGHAM, Printed by S, CRESWELL, Bookfeîter, h «M H Y M N T O T H E GOD OF ABRAHA Ti IN THREE FARTS: ADAPTED To a celebrated Air, Jung by the Prkjl, Siguier Leant, &amp; at the Jew's Synagogue, in Lend&amp;n : By THOMAS O h I V E R Sj I AM THE God of Abraham. Exod. J. %. He is thy Praije, and He is thy God, Deut. lo. z'l Stand up and praije the Lofto your God for ever or. ever. Nek. 9. 5. 1 willftng Praijet unto my God, 'while 1 have any "&gt;?• pjcii. 146.2. 3 NOTTINGHAM, Printed by S, CRESWE L L, Bookfdter, 6; Plate 8 Olivers's A Hymn to the God of Abraham, 1775, title page reproduced in at least twenty of the major traditional Protestant hymnbooks for more than two centuries.57 It is usually listed as a "Processional", to be sung with vigour and majesty. The title Leoni has sometimes been replaced by "Old and the United Church of Canada (Toronto: Anglican Church of Canada, 1971), no. 23, with words by Richard Granville Jones. See e.g. David W. Perry, Hymns and Tunes Indexed (Croydon: Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and Royal School of Church Music, 1980), 99 and 174. Early British publications include John Wesley, Sacred Harmony, 1780,130; Ralph Harrison, Sacred Harmony, Part 1,1784; John Wesley, A Pocket Hymn Book for the Use of Christians of All Denominations, 1785, 96-8; Supplement to the Wesley an Hymn Book, 1831. 93</page><page sequence="16">Alexander Knapp Processional—General Processional—General The God of Abraham praise The goodly land we see Who reigns enthroned above, W .• h peace and plenty blest • Ancient of everlasting Days, a land of sacred liberty' )ov'c r And endless test; From all that dwell below the skies Jehovah, great I AM, There miik and honev flow Let the Creator's praise arise: B&gt;"c:ltth and heaven contest; And oil and wine abound, Let the Redeemer's name be sung We bow and bless the sacred name And trees of life for ever grow. Through every l3tid by every tongue. *'or cver Me»t. With mercy crowned. The God of Abraham praise, There dwells die Lord 01 Eternal are ihv mercies I ord ■ I, OI ADran:,r" P™*. There dwells the Lord our King, Etrmhatwnds thvword • v "sSUpremc i0Amm™£ Thc Lord our Wflucowoew, ■sternal trusn attcnus tnv wow. f wiIi car!|, w&lt; risc atuj seek thc joys Triumphant o'er the world of .sir, Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore, At his righ, hand: TheIW-of Peace ' Till suns shall rise and set no more. We all on earth forsake, On Sion's sacred height 1. Waits . wisdom, fame, and power; His Kingdom he maintains. And him our only portion make, And glorious with his saints in licht Our Shield and 1 owcr. f or CVer reigns 3 6* Traditional Hebrew Melody I hough nature's strength decay, He kcers his own secure And earth and hell withstand, ' He guards them by his side 1 o Canaan s Ixmnds we urge our way Arrays in garment while and pure At his command: His spotless Bride. The watery deep we pass, With streams of sacred bliss, * tin Jesus in our view; Beneath scrcner skies, And through thc howling wilderness With all thc fruits of Paradise, Our way pursue. He still supplies Plate g The God of Abraham Praise (verses 1-6), 1972 Processional—General Hymn' 631 (continued) -l): 1 A , A »4 J f f Trd-rij 1 f i " J J i M 1 i J .1 J »t*—r J ii "i„ .. : *&gt; r i* "f p | ■■ Mt. + , A j A A T ' f -TH-t Ejtbx A „ J , n, . ■ i * \ ... I, J-.Ii T-t-hi-J i i — ^=f=iT=irT= ri A. rM 1 !'a j W~J Ti-pf-f-g fjqi' | t~i—■ j •? -&lt;i'M 1 ♦? fJ a p—f S^PI T I' J rJJ r ^ Fl Lr 1 "• ' Before the great Three-One Before she Saviour's lace They ail exulting stand. The ransomed nations bow. And tell the wonders he hath done O'erwhcinicd at his almightv grace Through ail their land: For ever new; The listening spheres attend, He shows his prints of love— And swell the growing fame, They kindle to a flume, And sing in songs which never end And sound through all the worlds above The wondrous name. The slaughtered Lamb. The God who reigns on high The whole triumphant host The great archangels sing, Give thanks to God on high; And 'Holy, Holy, Holy,' cry. 'Hail! Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,' 'Almighty King! They ever cry: Who was, and is the same. Hail! Abraham's God, and mine! And evermore shall be: (1 join the heavenly lays) Jehovah. Father, great 1 AM, All might and majesty are thine, We worship thee.' And endless praise. T. Olivers Rased on the Hebrew Yigdal Plate io The God of Abraham Praise (verses 7-10), 1972 94</page><page sequence="17">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody The Airs as Sûno ai /A'Jews ^y/iqovoi Sí h?£0. , y ws&amp;m y(c,\' '■'■?' fe by" the Pricíl Sig? I.coni (^c ' • ■ . (yjZíic ae/a^/i/rr/y^oj'yAea ;.. *,'&lt;&lt;*' ... _ ■ . •' J;&lt; ' - ,. . • .• ;: " .•%•'■ A (¡ ■HAin'SICOMfejOLIX, GeiímaxÍí.tjte &amp; ÜUI.TÁll yy'-a fe fe •fefe &gt; #J®k Printed for .J. LONGMAN and-C^N?., 26 Çheapfidè where may b,e;had - t)ie greateft Choice " f¿o£: New Miific, Mufical Inftrume'nts, b'eff Roman' Strings, Kc. SCc, 8Cc.' . ._ • _■■■'—. . ~ ;5;.' J Vholefalel' Retailed for Exportation. • - . "V" \7/V Airs a.s Si}//oaf f/c Jews ^y/iqovo'/u, |||0 ' -" " ,' A ''hi- 'AA ;" , A - • . ., m ,./j?/ &lt;5 . JSa/rfa, by the I Vie ft Siu1 [.colli (^c .-.■:i i ' '" ac/z^i/ns//./o7-.y/te/ . • IfeS'Si i Ja\ :;-;V;: ' ' 'V. TTARPSTC'C)IlD,"VxOI.IX, OliR m axT'i.ij TK k GuI'IAR ^tf/.///, fyr/ari/J/- r/ Z/'e//^-&gt; //'&lt;'■■/' . ife•■ . ■ :.:... '■ ., &amp; . mm &lt;9 ■ - - ■"• ' J r.nunnN - ' ■ ; ' tj; Printed for . J.'LONGMAN andr'GS.-N^.* .26'. 'CKeapfide where.may beyhad . the. greateft.'thoico • "1 "'•of: New. Mufic, Mufical Inftrumehis, belt" Roman'.Strings, 8Ccl.8Cc. SCc.w '/ . —-——;—— A, ' ' WholefalRetail-, and for Exportation . ' . . ' .A Plate 11 William Keith, The Airs as Sung at the Jews Synagogue, 1780, title page Hebrew Melody" or, rarely, Judaea or Jerusalem (not to be confused with Sir Hubert Parry's celebrated patriotic hymn). There are altogether twelve verses (according to the syllabic structure '66.84 doubled'). Most hymnbooks, however, have reduced these to ten, eight, six, five or four verses. Olivers has incorporated references to both Testaments of the Bible: the books of Genesis, Exodus, Isaiah, Psalm 22, Daniel, John, Corinthians, Revelation, Jude and Hebrews (plates 9 and 10).58 One tangential, though fascinating, consequence of Olivers's popularization of the Leoni Yigdal was the publication in 1780, by the London publishers J. Longman and Co., of arrangements of "The Airs as Sung at the Jews Synagogue, in j Parts, by the Priest, Sigr. Leoni ike.5'' Also adaptedfor the HARP SICHORD, VIOLIN, GERMAN FLUTE &amp; GUITAR by William Keith, Organist of West-Ham. (Price 1 shilling and sixpence).'" Plate 11 shows the title page of this Plates 9 and to reproduced from Hymns Ancient and Modern: Revised (London: William Clowes and Sons, Ltd, 1972), 868—70, no. 631. This is one of the "standard" versions of the hymn. A footnote on p. 1 indicates that "The Words are Sung by the Priest, the other Voices Accompanying him." - hence "&amp; c." However, it also appears, from designations within the later pages of the collection, that "the Priest" and "Sigr. Leoni", as listed on the title page, are two sep arate singers. We may assume that the "Priest" refers to Cantor Polack but it could indicate Rabbi Schiff. I am most grateful to the British scholar and archivist Victor Tunkel for having brought this document to my attention. 95</page><page sequence="18">Alexander Knapp . it ..g Plate 12 (i) Three-part arrangement, in Keith's The Airs, 1780 Plate 13 (ii) Two-part arrangement, in Keith's The Airs, 1780</page><page sequence="19">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody Plate 14 (iii) One-part arrangement, in Keith's The Airs, 1780 document, while plates 12—14 present the three pages (12, 20 and 24, respec tively, from a total of 24) that contain the Yigdal melody arranged (i) for three instruments: "Primo", "Secondo" and "Basso", complete with figured bass; (ii) for two instruments; and (iii) for one instrument. In each arrangement, the melody appears first almost exactly as it does in The God of Abraham Praise60 and then as a variation full of typical Baroque ornamentation.61 No texts are included in the publication but references to "Leoni" and the "Priest" appear frequently throughout. In fact, a cursory glance at the remain ing pieces in the collection suggests that "the Airs as Sung at the Jews Synagogue" were instrumental in character; this document taken as a whole may offer fascinating insights into vocal performance practice in the Great Synagogue during the late eighteenth century. The melodies to be sung by the Priest and especially by Leoni are extraordinarily florid; the tessitura is that of high tenor. What is not clear, however, is the extent to which the instrumental arrangements deviate from the vocal lines as they would have been sung. The differences are the key (A minor, instead of G minor); the note values (mainly crotchets and quavers instead of mainly semibreves and minims); the use of trills in the instrumental version but not in the choral; and two slight melodic discrepancies. The quality of the harmony and counterpoint, in the context of the stylistic preferences of the time, leaves something to be desired. 97</page><page sequence="20">Alexander Knapp These instrumental arrangements show, nevertheless, that the melody of the Christian hymn was already well established in one of the standard forms in which it has since been handed down; and it is likely, therefore, to be the version that Leon gave to Olivers. Four challenging questions arise: first, did Leon write this melody down himself or was it written down for him? Second, how closely related were the notation of the tune and the manner of its performance in actual practice? Third, is Leon's music manuscript extant and, if so, where is it? And finally, if the supposed "authenticity" of Leon's melody - as he gave it to Olivers in 1770 - has been preserved in church practice, because it was written down in Western notation nearly two and a half centuries ago, what is the status of the Jewish tune of the synagogue, handed down from generation to generation by oral transmission until relatively recently - insofar as it is differs from its Christian counterpart? These are issues that require further research. Analytical comparison of the two melodies Returning to the hymns themselves, we observe that it was not only the text that Olivers adapted; the synagogue tune was also altered to conform more to the ethos of the church. This Yigdal melody is founded on the cantorial mode "Magen Avot" ("Mogen Ovos", according to Ashkenazi pronunciation), the synthetic scale of which approximates to the Gregorian Aeolian, or Western "natural minor". According to Idelsohn, the origins of the "Magen Avot" date back possibly as far as the third century ce;62 like all Jewish modes, it has specific motifs and melodic contours embedded within it. One particular character istic is the tendency to shift back and forth from a "minor" modality to the "relative major" - as indeed does the Leoni Yigdal tune. But in the various harmonizations (two of which are shown in plates 1563 and 1664) that are per formed chorally in present-day synagogues, the Jewish modality has been transformed into the Western "melodic minor" (complete with sharpened leading-notes) as a result of acculturation. In this respect, both of these Yigdal harmonizations are fairly similar to A. Z. Idelsohn, "The Mogen Ovos Mode: A Study in Folklore", Hebrew Union College Annual i4(i939): 559-74 Francis L. Cohen and David M. Davis, Kol Rinnah v'Todah: The Voice of Prayer and Praise: A Handbook of Synagogue Music for Congregational Singing (London: Office of the United Synagogue, 1899), 24, no. 28. This version of the melody is identical to that of F. L. Cohen (Yigdal-B) printed in The Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 12, 607, and shown in plate 6 above. Kol Rinnah v'Todah: The Voice of Prayer and Praise is commonly known in Anglo-Jewry as "The Blue Book". Charles Salaman, The Music used in the Services of The West London Synagogue ofBritish Jews, ed. C. G. Verrinder (London: Novello and Co, Ltd, [1892]), vol. 1,21-7. 98</page><page sequence="21">Meier Leon s Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody X IGD .4 L. Harmonized and arranged Sabbat h Evening Service Page 52. Ancient Hebrew Melody. with organ accompaniments a ** . by C.i*.vERB.INDER. - f i k N -fS V| — _ '.Q I 1 N ^ —■ « . Soprano. J -¿ri 4 ? —£- j T~? • Kj * . * F r~t ^ ,1 ' " ' . ' ' „ , iniwi I ' . l'~ r ' Yig _ dâl e _ lo - liim chai ve _ yish _ _ ta _ _ bâch, nim_tsâh ve _ en nget el me - Alto. Bass. Organ. Yig _ dal e _ lo _ him chai' vë _ yish _ _ta - - bâch,iiim_tsâh ve _ en «get el me_ 1 IGD AL. Han*ionized and arranged Sabbath Evening Service Page 52. Ancient Hebrew Melody. with organ accornnaniments H p ® . by O.-vi.VEKttlHlJEK. i?..* 1 ± ... V K V . —. V J N Soprano. Alto. Tenor. 8™ lower. Bass. Organ. Yig _ dal e _ lo _ liim chai* ve _ yish _ _ ta _ _ bach, ium_tsah ve _ en nget el me. Yig _ dal e - lo _ him chai' ve _ yish _ _ta - - bach^jiinutsah ve _ en nget el Yig _ dal e _ lo _ him chai ve _ yish- _ ta _ _ bach,nim_tsah ve _ en nget- el me. e. -A-. JL" T?: A ± " A mtz Yig i. dal e _ lo - him chai' ve - yisli- _ ta - _ bach,nim_tsah ve _ en nget el me. ? with swell R a-«&lt;! A. faai oeiee* gmwiimiw . ... mimmwi \ rtG-t Piap? with swell 8 and 4 feet. -j—1~——£ r v V V '~1_ /1 1 * ' ♦ , „ " ' * rtsi _ n _ to. E_chad ve _ en ya_chid ke _ yi _ elm-do, Seng-lam ve _ gam en sof le _ ach.dn _ to. ^— i -v &lt;_ - _tsi _ n _ to. E_chad ve _ en ya _ chid ke_yi _ chn_d.o, Neng_lam ve _ gam en sof le _ ach_dn _ to. Plate 15 Yigdal, from Kol Rinnah v'Todah: Voice of Prayer and Praise, 1899 those of The God of Abraham Praise, which has undergone a long development through a succession of hymnals. Striking, however, are the melodic and rhythmical differences between the Jewish and Christian versions as they developed independently in synagogue and church. As demonstrated in plate 17, the melodic divergencies appear in bars 4, 6, 10-12 and 14. In regard to rhythm, the significant differentiating factor is the frequent use of dotted notes in the Jewish version - creating an element of drive and intensity, contrasting with the smoother minim and crotchet passing-note movement of the Christian version - producing an atmosphere, rather, of tranquillity. As to choice of key, both hymns, in their many variants, usually appear in E minor, F minor, F sharp minor or G minor. The range of the melody, from the lower fifth degree to the upper minor seventh, is wide, rendering it a challenge for most congregations 99</page><page sequence="22">Alexander Knapp 24 j oc L „*■/.» YIGDAL. (N91) ,.t. , VK Bi&gt; (Lti/i is G) Traditional CXeonk) ^ ¡ .n, 11, -,t, :d .r |m .d |r,.;m :f .s |m .s. Id -,r :m, ,.f ) i .m, lm, .,se,:l, .li Ise, .1, Ü, L s, Is, :_.s, Is, d I 1. Yig- d'al ë-lô-him thay, vë - yish - tab - bách, nim - tso, vë-ein 3. Ein 1&lt;T de-mus hag- guf vè - ei - nô gui, lô na -'a-roch ei 5 Hin- nô a-dôn 'G - lom, le- chol nô - tsor yô - reh ge-dul-lo ?. Lô Kom be-Yis-ro - eil ki&gt; - nô - sheh 'ôd no- vi, u - mab 9. Lô ya-chai if ho- eil vë - lô yô-miï do- sô le- !ô - lo - - 11. GO- meillë-ish. . . chesed kg- mil - 'o - - lo, nô- sein le-ro- - 13. Moi- sim yechay-yeh Eil be- rôv chas - dô, bô- ruch ,'à-dei (l) eis- el me- tsi - n - sô. 2. E - chod, ve-ein yo ■ (3) lov ke - dush-sho - sô. 4, Kad- mon lë-chol do (s) sô u - mal-chu - sô. 6. ^ She-fa'ne - vu - o (7) bit es të - mu - no - sô. 8. T6 - rasë (») mim le- zu - lo - sô. 10. Tsô - feh ve - yô - de i (il) sho' ra' kë - rish-h - sô. 12. Yish- lach lè-keits yo (13) 'ad sheim të - hil - lo - sô. 13? Mei - sim yë-Ohay-yeh il d -m :r J It, :-.m. 11, .,t, :d ..r I in :.f .r |d : t. 11, il 1, -d :t, J, Ise, .m, lm, .,se,:j,_ .1, I 1, .s, :£ .1, 11, : se, 11, y—1°«. -h J ST rjr^r r jw i r ï í* r rJr yi '- chu - - do, ne' W y (4) slier niv - ro, ri - (6) so - (8) san lëarîHno. (îo) so - rei (la) shi - ehei (13a) iôv chas lom, vë-gani ein I sôf lë - tshôn, ve-éin rei - shis le ■ nô, el an-shei së-gul- lo sS...... . vë - Eil, 'al I yad ne-vi - - ô nee nu, mab - bit 18- sôf do - vor. .... be • nu,' lif -j dôs míkiliak- - kei keits ye dô, bo-lruch 'a-dei 'ad, sheim të ach- du • rei- shi sif- ar man bei kad - mo shu - ô - hil - lo • su. sô. tô. sô. sô. sô. sô. 24 YTGDAL. (N? 1) Traditional ('LeonC) 28 B*&gt; &lt;L"h f* G) i .in, jl, .,t, :d .r In .d |r..;n :f ._s In :_.s, Id .,r :n .f l.m, In, .,se,:l, .1, Ise, .1, 11, lj s, Is, :-.s, Is, .,1, ta,.d ' it 1. Yig- dal e-13-him I ehuy, ve - yish -tab - bach, nini-tso, ve-ein 8. Ein 16* dermis hag- guf ve - ei - no guf, lo na - 'a-roeh ei 6. Hin- no a-don 'o - lom, le - chol no - tsor yo - reh ge-dul-lo 7. Lo kom be-Yis-ro - eil ke - no - sheh 'od no- vi, u - mab - 9. Lo ya-chalif ho- eil ve - lo yo-mir do- so le- 'o - lo - - 11. GO- meille-ish. . . ehesed ke - mif - % - - lo, no- sein le-ro- - 18. Mel- sim yechay-yeh Eil be- rov chus - do, bo- ruch 'a- dei (t) eis el me- tsi - n - so. 2. E - chod, ve-ein yo (g) iov ke - dush-sho - so. 4. Kad- mon le-c-hol do (5) so u - mal-chu - so. 6. ^ She-fa' ne-vu - o (7) bit es te - mu - no - so. 8. T6 - ras e (9) mim le - zu - lo - so. 10. Tso- feh ve - yo - dei - a- se til) sho&lt; ra' ke - rish -'o - so. 12. Yish- lach 16-keits yo - min nie (13) 'ad sheim te - hil - lo - so. 18? Mei - sim yfe-chay-yeh Eil be - )| d .w :r JL It, .n, II, ,,t, :d....r I rn :f .r Id :t, II, 1, .d :t, . 1, 'se, .n, 'n, .,se,.-1, .-.l, ' L it -1, ' 1, :se, 11, HP 11 *"i • -H f CJLr r ,H J * J" Jnj. TrfJr1f f in L _ - fi&lt;». hp (а) yi '- chu - - do, ne' (4) sher niv- ro, ri (б) so - (h) sanleammo. (10) so - rei (12) shi - chei (is?) rov chas lom, ve-ga m ein | sof. .shon, ve-ein rei - shis. no elan-shei se-gul- lo Eil, 'al I yad ne -vi - nu, mab - bit le-sof do - nu, lif -| dos me-chak do, bo-lruch 'a-dei. so. 0. . vor. kei keits ye 'ad, sheim te Plate 16 Yigdal, from The Music used in the Services of the West London Synagogue of British Jems, 1892 comprising untrained voices. Yet, clearly, there is a quintessence in the indi vidual motifs themselves and the melodic contour resulting from their accu mulation, which has satisfied — and continues to satisfy — the emotional and musical needs of both synagogue and church. ioo</page><page sequence="23">Meier Leon's Yigdal melody as a link between Jewish and Christian hymnody JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS A Melodic and Rhythmical Comparison YIGDAL ELOHIM CHAY 1 2 JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS A Melodic and Rhythmical Comparison YIGDAL ELOHIM CHAY 1 2 Efe Plate 17 Comparison between Jewish and Christian melodies: "Yigdal Elohim Chay" in Kol Rinnahv'Todah, no. 28, and "The God of Abraham Praise" in Hymns Ancient and Modern: Revised, no. 631 101</page><page sequence="24">Alexander Knapp Conclusions: the transfer of Jewish and Israeli melodies into the church in the late twentieth century The case of Leoni's Yigdal seems to exist almost in isolation. It is difficult to explain why, apart from the Alenu melody - a Missinai tune65 traceable at least as far back as the twelfth century - which was absorbed into the church,66 no other melodies based on Hebrew texts have, as far as I am aware, been included in Christian hymnals. Not, that is, until the occasional incorporation of Jewish and Israeli folk music and dance in late twentieth-century hymn anthologies, particularly those of the evangelical churches.67 Here, the orig inal Hebrew words associated with songs such as Eliahu Hanavi, Hevenu Shalom Aleichem, Hinei Ma Tov, Ma 'oz Tzur and Shalom Chaverim (to name but five) have been replaced - partly or completely - by Christian texts for worship. Thus, the legacy of Judeo-Christian sharing, as exemplified by the collaboration between Meier Leon and Thomas Olivers in the second half of the eighteenth century in London, is again finding expression today. Missinai tunes (also known as Scarbove, possibly derived from the Latin sacra) comprise a reper toire of especially revered Ashkenazi melodies ("as if handed down to Moses on Mount Sinai") originating in the Jewish communities of south-western Germany between the 12th and 16th centuries. See Idelsohn, Jewish Music, 136; Werner, Voice Still Heard, 26-45. See Werner, Voice Still Heard, 43-4, for a historical account of the circumstances under which this melody became known to the wider Christian community of Blois, and its musical parallel in the Gregorian Sanctus of the ninth Mass of the Virgin. See e.g. Mission Praise (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, many eds. since 1984). 102</page></plain_text>

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