Chicago a cappella – Miracle of Miracles: Music for Hanukkah (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 01:02:04 minutes | 1,00 GB | Genre: Classical
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Cedille Records
Chicago a cappella, the innovative vocal ensemble praised for its “clarity, well-balanced tone, and deep emotional involvement” (Washington Post), presents Miracle of Miracles — Music for Hanukkah, a new recording aimed at unveiling the richer meaning of the Festival of Lights, with music that ranges from heartfelt prayers to jazzy and playful holiday favorites, showcasing the creativity and vitality of American Jewish musical traditions.
The album features a collection of songs from more than 25 years of Chicago a cappella performances, arranged into a single program that replays the story of Hanukkah, from celebrations of the holiday itself through to its candles, miracles, religious observances, and traditional food and games.
Collectively in search of Hanukkah songs from different Jewish traditions and communities, seven living composers/arrangers/musicians including Robert Applebaum, Gerald Cohen, Joshua Fishbein, Elliot Z. Levine, Jonathan Miller, Daniel Tunkel, and Mark Zuckerman bring fresh perspectives to songs celebrating the miracle of light.
Rich with liturgical and folk melodies, Miracle of Miracles — Music for Hanukkah demonstrates a keen sensitivity to both biblical and modern Hebrew, as well as Yiddish elements (and English) intertwined with American jazz and popular styles. The vocal network represented on this album fully encompasses the traditions of Hanukkah across the Diaspora and Jewish history.
Works include Robert Applebaum’s stirring version of “Haneirot Halalu” and movements from the majestic “Hallel Cantata” by London-based Daniel Tunkel. Other familiar tunes include arrangements of “I am a Little Dreydl” both in its traditional Yiddish form, as arranged by Zuckerman, and in a neo-funk Hebrew/English setting titled “Funky Dreidl” arranged by Applebaum; a swing version of “S’vivon” by Steve Barnett; and a lively setting of the traditional melody for “Al HaNisim” (“For the Miracles”) by Levine.
Chicago a cappella, under the direction of John William Trotter, is an ensemble of ten singers that performs a wide-ranging repertoire of musical styles and genres from the ninth to the 21st centuries. Founded in 1993, the group features a roster of the Chicago area’s most accomplished classically trained choral singers and soloists, whose flexible vocal skills and musical adventurousness bring a special joy to their performances.
Miracle of Miracles joins Chicago a cappella’s two previous Cedille releases, Shall I Compare Thee: Choral Songs on Shakespeare Texts and Christmas a cappella. Produced by the Grammy-winning team of producer James Ginsburg and engineer Bill Maylone, Miracle of Miracles was recorded January 13 and 16–18, 2023, at Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago.
01. Chicago a cappella – Oh Chanukah/Y’Mei Hachanukah (03:23)
02. Chicago a cappella – S’vivon (01:22)
03. Chicago a cappella – O, ir kleyne likhtelekh (03:54)
04. Chicago a cappella – Chanukah Lights (02:50)
05. Chicago a cappella – Haneirot Halalu (04:41)
06. Chicago a cappella – Al HaNisim (01:47)
07. Chicago a cappella – Al Hanisim (04:02)
08. Chicago a cappella – Al Hanisim (For the Miracles) (04:42)
09. Chicago a cappella – I. Hal’luyah! (Psalm 113) (01:28)
10. Chicago a cappella – II. B’tzeit Yisrael (Psalm 114) (01:53)
11. Chicago a cappella – III. Adonai Z’charanu (Psalm 115, vv. 12-18) (02:26)
12. Chicago a cappella – VI. Hodu (Psalm 118, vv. 1-4) (01:30)
13. Chicago a cappella – Maoz Tzur (05:25)
14. Chicago a cappella – Lo V’Chayil (03:04)
15. Chicago a cappella – Fayer, fayer (01:00)
16. Chicago a cappella – Funky Dreidl (I Had a Little Dreidl) (03:38)
17. Chicago a cappella – I am a Little Dreydl (Ikh bin a kleyner Dreydl) (01:25)
18. Chicago a cappella – Biy’mey Mattityahu (04:21)
19. Chicago a cappella – Aleih Neiri (03:59)
20. Chicago a cappella – Lo Yisa Goy (05:04)