New York - Perlman And Helfgot Shine As Sony Music‚Äôs Latest Stars (audio sampler)
New York - Two of the most highly regarded names in the Jewish music business are teaming up with the second largest recorded music label in the world for a one of a kind album that hit store shelves yesterday.
Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul features the considerable talents of Chazan Yitchak Meir Helfgot and legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman and is being produced by Sony Music Entertainment. The album features a potpourri of Jewish music including cantorial musical, popular Yiddish songs and klezmer music and will be jointly distributed by Sony and Sameach Music.
In a statement released to VIN News by the global entertainment giant, Bogdan Roscic, president of Sony Classical, expressed his thoughts on this groundbreaking venture.
‚ÄúSony Classical is honored to contribute to Jewish culture with ‚ÄėEternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul,‚Äô‚ÄĚ Said Roscic. ‚ÄúPartnering with Itzhak Perlman and Cantor Helfgot on a body of work so close to their hearts has been a very enriching experience for the entire label and we are grateful to be a part of it.‚ÄĚ
Click here to listen to CD sampler of the new Sony Album.
The idea for the album came to Perlman two and a half years ago.
‚ÄúMy wife had been taking bible classes and we kept hearing the name Yitzhak Meir Helfgot,‚ÄĚ Perlman told VIN News. ‚ÄúI was in Israel conducting the philharmonic and as it happened I had a free night on the same night that Helfgot was singing at Heichal Hatarbut in Tel Aviv. It was like a sign from up above so I went to hear him. He was amazing. His voice spoke to me and I knew that it would blend so perfectly with the violin. I approached him about working on a project together with me and he was as excited as I was.‚ÄĚ
The project, as envisioned by Perlman, would combine his own talents with Helfgot‚Äôs vocals, recreating the music of his youth, as heard on Kol Yisroel Radio.
‚ÄúIt is an assortment of music, all in Yiddish,‚ÄĚ explained Perlman. ‚ÄúThis album is something that anyone who is Jewish or appreciates Jewish music will enjoy.‚ÄĚ
Wanting to reach the widest audience possible and his long history with Sony, Perlman took his idea to the mega music producer and convinced them recording an all Yiddish album was a good idea.
‚ÄúIn an era where so many companies are cutting back, this giant leap of faith taken by Sony is a tremendous show of confidence in Perlman‚Äôs abilities,‚ÄĚ reported Cantor Benny Rogosnitzky, who consulted with Sony on Eternal Echoes. ‚ÄúThis is a big deal and Sony will get this album out there in a big way, all across the world.‚ÄĚ
According to Rogosnitzky, who was very involved in introducing the Israeli born Helfgot to American audiences, the project has already received much media attention from secular media outlets as diverse as the New York Times, Opera Today and other classical music publications and he hopes to see Eternal Echoes offered as in-flight music on El Al in the future.
‚ÄúEven if you aren‚Äôt a fan of cantorial music, it is difficult not be impressed by talents as prodigious as Perlman and Helfgot,‚ÄĚ said Rogosnitzky. ‚ÄúMany of the musicians in the recording studio had never even seen an Orthodox Jew, let alone a Chasidishe Yid and when Helfgot began to sing they were so amazed they didn‚Äôt know what to do with themselves. The way he can hit notes and sustain them is so unbelievable and you can‚Äôt help be awed by his G-d given talent.‚ÄĚ
Rogosnitzky found himself inspired by the unlikely partnership between Perlman and Helfgot.
‚ÄúIt just goes to prove how music can unite people,‚ÄĚ explained Rogosnitzky. ‚ÄúWhere else would a chosid who lives in Boro Park ever collaborate with a guy from the Upper West Side who is at the top of his game? Ordinarily there would be no common ground for them, no bridge between them, but music brought them together. Music touches people and unites them in a very unique way.‚ÄĚ
Benny Taubenfeld of Sameach Music described the pairing of Perlman and Helfgot as ‚Äúa match made in heaven.‚ÄĚ
Hoping to continue to touch the hearts of Jewish music lovers worldwide, the duo is planning to follow up the album with a concert tour this winter. Currently they are scheduled to begin performing in early March with appearances in Boston, Toronto and the New York area.
A clip of Kol Nidre from the album posted on YouTube just over two weeks ago has already received over five thousand hits and the album will be featured on both AOL and MSN‚Äôs listening pages this week.
‚ÄúThis is a great opportunity to get into the hearts and minds of Jews who aren‚Äôt so connected to their Judaism,‚ÄĚ said Rogosnitzky. ‚ÄúThese people may not be going to the Daf, but who doesn‚Äôt know Kol Nidrei? Kol Nidrei connects Jews to Yiddishkeit so this album may be doing something very real for unaffiliated Jews worldwide.‚ÄĚ
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