These selections were recorded in Daniel's own studio where he multitracked the melody and harmonic parts. They are drawn mainly from the repertoires of the Spanish and Portuguese communities of Amsterdam, London and New York. There are, however, examples of pieces from the wider western Sephardi diaspora.
It is hoped that this collection will be added to on a regular basis, so please check back.
The recordings are arranged alphabetically and can be downloaded by right-clicking the desired button.
Achot Ketanah | London
The Spanish and Portuguese chant for Achot Katana is clearly of Iberian origin and yet arrestingly has no cognates in the wider Sephardi World. The arrangement in this recording is by Mordechai Halfon.
Adon Olam - D.A. de Sola | London
This melody was composed by David Aaron de Sola (1796-1860), the “learned hazzan” of the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London. Known in all Spanish and Portuguese communities, it is also probably one of the most widely sung melodies for Adon Olam amongst English speaking communities, worldwide. This recording incorporates the coda that appears in the original score, but which is omitted from most borrowed versions.
Adon Olam - 'Dutch Melody' | Gibraltar
This tune for Adon Olam from Gibraltar, is known there as the 'Dutch Melody', as it is based on the melody for the piyyut Yodukha Ra'yonai sung in the Portuguese Community of Amsterdam.
Adon Olam | New York
This melody for Adon Olam is from the repertoire of Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi synagogue in New York.
The lilting three-note turn on the first syllable of the word Olam brings to mind William Walker’s New Britain setting for the hymn Amazing Grace.
Adon Olam - 'Todot El Melody' | Amsterdam
In the Amsterdam Portuguese Sephardi community, this melody for the piyyut Todot El is used a setting for Adon Olam.
Adon Olam - C.G Verrinder | London
This melody for Adon Olam was composed by Charles Garland Verrinder. This rendition is based on an arrangement by Jacob Hadida, Choirmaster of the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi congregation of London between 1933 and 1937 and again from 1945 to 1954.
Adon Olam - S.W. Waley | London
Melody for Adon Olam composed by Simon Waley, who was a prominent member of the West London Reform Synagogue. It was adopted by the by both Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi community of London and the mainstream Ashkenazi orthodox United Synagogue.
Amar Ribi Elazar | London
The chant in this recording is that of the London Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Community. It begins with the Hazzan repeating the final two words of Lekha Dodi, Bo’i Kallah. In common with Amsterdam and Bordeaux it is a musical continuation of the Bameh Madlikin mode..
Amidah (Aboth) Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur | London
The recitative for the Amidah on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi tradition is essentially the same for each of the Tefilot on those days. Although markedly different from most of the usages in North Africa, where a minor key is generally preferred for the penetential period, it does have a close affinity with the Baghdad and Yerushalmi traditions, albeit it with an unmistakable Italianate signature..
Aseh Lema'an Shemakh
It is likely that this haunting, but little known, melody from the selichot of Yom Kippur comes from the western part of Turkey.
Ashamnu Mikol Am | London
Ashammnu Mikol Am is one of the introductions to the vidduyim of Yom Kippur. Characteristically, this setting employs a serious and heartfelt, yet non-histrionic, approach to the material; and as with much of the repertoire for the High Holidays in the Spanish and Portuguese tradition, it is the result of a tonal evolution of a modal chant of the Edot Hamizrach.
Ashrei Ha'am Yode'ei Teru'a | London
Az Yashir Moshe - Western Sephardi Tradition
Az Yashir Moshe, the Shirat Hayam, is perhaps one of the most ancient tunes in the Jewish tradition. This is attested to by the similarity that exists between Eastern, Western and North African Sephardi chants, as well as those of the Eastern and Western Ashkenazi rites. In this recording the London, Amsterdam, Livorno and New York variants of the Western Sephardi melody are presented.
Bameh Madlikin | London
The chant for Bameh Madlikin In the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi rite is one of the most beautiful examples of recitative in the entire repertoire. In Amsterdam, it was considered of such importance that it served as the test piece upon which a candidate for the position of Hazzan would be judged. In addition to having a sweet singing voice, coming under scrutiny was his ability to navigate a complex, and sometimes teeth-breakingly unforgiving, Mishnaic text.
Barekhu - 'La Despedida' | London
The 'Farewell' or 'La Despedida' melody is sung on the last day of each of the shalosh regalim and is applied variously to the kaddishim, kedushot and Hallel sung on that day.
Barukh Haba | Amsterdam
This selection from the Hallel is a close derivative of the melody for Az Yashir Moshe, variants of which are known in all Spanish and Portuguese communities. The version here, arranged by Raymond Goldstein, is based on the current style of Amsterdam, which has incorporated into the melodic line elements of what may once have been the tenor and bass harmonies of a choral arrangement.
Barukh Haba is also customarily sung to accompany the bride on her wedding day in her procession to join her groom under the chuppah; and on Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet, as the Senhores Hatanim enter the synagogue.
Bemakhelot | London
Bemakhelot is the concluding segment of the piyyut Nishmat Kol Chai. The melody is of considerable antiquity and is known across much of the western Sephardi diaspora. The Spanish and Portuguese communities of London and New York share a similar style; and in the latter, variations of this chant are used responsively in many of the recitative portions throughout Nishmat.
Bendigamos | Curaçao Melody
As Professor H.P. Salomon has shown, in his article The Strange Odyssey of Bendigamos, Bendigamos was in all likelihood written during the 17th century, and was a product of the Spanish speaking ex-Converso communities of south-western France. By means of family connections, the composition found its way to the to the island of Curaçao. But it was only in the early 1900's that it surfaced in New York, and it was not until the second half of the 20th century that it was introduced to the communities in England and Holland.
Birkhat Me'en Sheba' | London / New York
The Magen Abot formula from the arbit of leil Shabbat is another fine example of Spanish and Portuguese recitative.
This recording is based on the London version combined with certain elements of the the variant sung in New York.
El Adon - "Adio Kerida' Melody
A recording of 'El Adon' from the Shabbat and Yom Tob Yotser set to the melody of the beautiful romanca 'Adio Kerida'.
El Dio Alto - Habdalah
This Judeo-Spanish piyyut was sung at the conclusion of Shabbat in the home of the late Haham of the Spanish and Portuguese community of London, Dr Solomon Gaon (z'l).
El Melekh Yosheb | London
This chant is used in the London Spanish and Portuguese community on Yom Kippur as the setting for four liturgical selections: El Melech Yosheb, Tamanu Mera'ot, Anshe Emuna Abadu and Shebet Yehuda.
Eleh Mo'adei Hashem | London
This is the London Spanish and Portuguese melody for the pasuk that is sung prior to the amidah in the arbit service of the shalosh regalim. It is also recited as an introduction to kiddush on yom tob mornings.
Elohei Oz Tehilati
In the anthology The Ancient Melodies of the Liturgy of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews (London, 1857) D. A. de Sola places the piyyut Elohei Oz Tehilati among the bakashot that are sung before shachrit, a practice long since discontinued in the London community. The setting in that volume is borrowed from a melody used for the hallel. The present recording is a variant of a melody for this piyyut known in various locales across the Sephardi world, and which is included in Sephardic Songs of Praise by Abraham Lopes Cardozo (New York, 1987)
En Kelohenu - Beethoven
This melody is based on the second (allegretto) movement of Beethoven's seventh symphony. As far as I am aware, it is not sung in any Spanish and Portuguese synagogue, nor any other for that matter. But maybe it should.
En Kelohenu | Gibraltar
This melody is sung in Gibraltar to a variety of texts, including Hashkibenu, Yitgadal and En Kelohenu. It is also known in the Spanish and Portuguese community of New York as a setting for the Shabbat table song Tsur Mishelo Achalnu. It was most likely brought across the Atlantic by the Gibraltar born hazzan James Mesod Wahnon who was appointed to serve Congregation Shearith Israel in 1921.
En Kelohenu 'Great Kaddish' Melody | Amsterdam
Eshal Me'el Elyon Nora - Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet | London
This prayer for the Hatan Torah is sung on the eves of Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet in the Spanish and Portuguese community of London. It is a co-mingled and considerably abbreviated version of two longer compositions for the Hatan Torah and Hatan Beresheet respectively, found in the seder tefilot Imrei Noam published by Menashe Ben Yisrael in Amsterdam in 1644.
Essa Enai - Zemirot | London / Amsterdam
Et Sha'are Ratson | London
The London Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi congregation's setting of the piyyut Et Sha'arei Ratson by Yehuda Shemuel Abbas. It is sung on both days of Rosh Hashana just before the sounding of the shofar. This recording is based on an arrangement by Raymond Goldstein.
Et Sha'are Ratson - Libritekha | London
The final strophe of Et Sha'are Ratson is repeated by the Hazzan in the form of a cadenza on both days of Rosh Hashanah prior to the sounding of the Shofar. This variant is from the London Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi community and is set to an arrangement by Raymond Goldstein.oldstein.
Ha'el Lemosha'ot - Hosha'ana Rabbah | New York
In Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York, the much loved tune for El Nora Alila is revisited throughout the festival of Succot in each day's Hosha'anot. Ha'el Lemosha'ot is the selection to which the melody is applied on Hosha'anah Rabbah.
Hakol Yodukha - Yotser | London
This simple but powerfully rhythmic melody for Hakol Yodukha and El Adon may well have its origins in pre-expulsion Spain. The present recording is of the London Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi tradition. Congregation Shearith Israel, in New York, has an almost identical variant. The principal difference between the two is that while the strophes in the New York version end on the dominant, the London variant's end on the supertonic.
Hallel d'Italia | London
The Hallel d'Italia melody is one of the best known and loved melodies in the Spanish and Portuguese repertoire. Variants are to be found in all of the Spanish and Portuguese communities, and in many other communities in the western Sephardi diaspora. In addition to the Hallel it serves as a setting for En Kelohenu and the kaddish. It is instructive to compare this London version of the chant with that of Oran, as in Yitgadal below.
Hallel - Lekha Ezbach Zebach Todah : Mombach
A gem from Julius Mombach for the final two verses of Ps 116, sung as part of the Hallel. Stylistically, it would be a wonderful fit for Congregation Shearith Israel, and would also serve as a perfect musical lead-in for most of their settings for Ps 117 (Hallelu). Mombach is, of course, no stranger to Shearith Israel, his composition for Baruch Habba being frequently used as a melody for Yehi Chasdekha.
Hallel - Min Hametsar | London
This is the melody for Psalm 118, verses 5-20, sung in the London Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi community of London on Yom Tob and Shabbat-Rosh Hodesh. It is identical to the chant for Az Yashir Moshe - the Shirat Hayam.
Hallel - Min Hametsar | New York and Philadelphia
This traditional melody is sung on Yom Tob and Shabbat-Rosh Hodesh in the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi communities of New York and Philadelphia. It is set, somewhat unusually, in a minor key and reserved exclusively for the Min Hametsar passage from the Hallel (Psalm 118, verses 5-20).
Hallel "Number 1" | London
Hallel "Number 2" | London
This tune for Hallel is sung in London, most commonly on the second day of Pesach and Sukkot. It is a variant of the melody for Hodu Lamonai Kiru Bishmo, still sung on Shabbatot and Mo'adim in the New York and Amsterdam communities, but which was abandoned in London in the early 20th century in order to shorten the service.
Hallel "Number 3" | London
Hallel "Number 6" - La Despedida | London
In the Spanish and Portuguese diaspora, the Despedida melody serves as poignant musical farewell to each of the Shalosh Regalim. In the London and New York communities it is the setting for a number of selections on the final day of a festival: the congregational Kaddish in Arbit, Hallel, En Kelohenu, and the Kedusha and final Kaddish in Mincha. In the Amsterdam tradition it is reserved exclusively for the final Mincha Kaddish.
Hallel Shabbat - Rosh Hodesh | London
London is unique among Spanish and Portuguese communities in having a special melody reserved for the Hallel when Rosh Hodesh falls on Shabbat.
Hamabdil Ben Kodesh Lechol | Amsterdam
The Portuguese community of Amsterdam uses the melody for Yah Shema Ebyonekha as the setting for this piyyut at the close of Shabbat.
Hamabdil Ben Kodesh Lechol | London
This melody for Hamabdil ben Kodesh Lekhol appears in The Ancient Melodies of the Liturgy of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews (Aguilar, 1857). In his notes to that anthology D.A. de Sola describes it as “the best and most melodious [tune for this piyyut] of those known to me, and which bears unmistakable traces of a Spanish origin, as those who are at all acquainted with that style of music will readily perceive.”
Hamesiach Ilemim : de Casseres | Amsterdam
This composition is a setting of a passage from the tefila Nishmat Kol Chai. It was written in Amsterdam in the early part of the 18th century by Abraham de Casseres, who was the community's musician in residence between about 1720 and 1740. Although the original score includes an instrumental accompaniment, it must also have been sung a cappella, as according to the late Professor Israel Adler, it was sung on three occasions in the Esnoga's calendar when the playing of musical instruments would have been halachically prohibited: Shabbat Nachamu (the anniversary of the synagogue building's opening in 1675) Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet.
Hashem Hu HaElohim - Yamim HaNora'im | London
Although Hashem Hu HaElohim and Hashem Melekh are liturgically related, their musical connection is less obvious. While Hashem Melekh is clearly an elaborated version of the Hashem Bekol Shofar lachan, the tonal progression of Hashem Hu Ha'Elohim would suggest a different musical ancestry. That said, their fusion is pretty seamless.
Hashem Malakh - Ps. xciii | New York
Based, on a North African prototype, this rendition of Ps. 93 from the Friday night liturgy is based on the variant sung in Congregation Shearith Israel, The Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Synagogue in New York. It differs from other variants of this chant, in that the caesura in the middle of each of the verses (the Atnach) is on the fifth rather than the second note of the scale, evoking a medieval and almost Gregorian provenance.
Hashem Mi Yagur Be'aholekha - Ps. xv | London
In the early 1970's the London Spanish and Portuguese community introduced the practice of reading Ps. xv following the Kaddish Titkabal of Musaf, It was sung by the hazzan using the infinitely expressive Sephardi Tehilim mode. The custom was mysteriously discontinued after only a short number of years.
Hashem Tseba'ot Imanu | New York
This beautiful and expressive modal chant for Tehilim is used across the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi diaspora, though not necessarily for the same liturgical selections. In Congregation Shearith Israel in New York, for example, it is used for the introductory verses to Arbit on Motsa'ei Shabbat, while in the Spanish and Portuguese community of Bordeaux, it is the chant reserved for Mizmor Shir Leyom Hashabat on Friday nights.
Hashibenu : Louis Lewandowski
This beautiful melody for Hashibenu is actually the final melodic theme of a longer composition by Lewandowski. There are many pieces from the western European Ashkenazi tradition in the various Spanish and Portuguese repertoires. This sadly is not one of them. It should be!
Hatan Na'im Aleh - Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet | London
This piyyut is sung on Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet to accompany each of the senhores hatanim as they proceed, carrying their own Sepher Torah, from their banco to the tebah prior to reading their parashiot.
Hodu Lashem Kir'u Bishmo | New York
Hodu Lashem Kiru Bishmo marks the opening of the morning Zemirot. Its liturgical origins may be traced to the Levitical choir in the Temple.
In both the New York and Amsterdam Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi communities these verses from the Book of Chronicles are sung by the congregation on Shabbatot and Mo'adim to an ancient and uplifting melody.
Kaddish Le'ela - Plainsong
A deceptively simple and ancient melody for the Kaddish preceding Barechu on Shabbatot. It is found with only small variations, across the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi diaspora.
The chant for Kaddish is a sort of musical hallmark within the Spanish and Portuguese tradition. With the exception of the night and morning services of Tisha Be'Ab, it is used with only slight variations in every Tefilah of the year. Although based on one of the most widely used motifs for psalmody extant in the Sephardi world, it seems that the Spanish and Portuguese are unique in applying it to the rendering of the Kaddish.
KaddishTitkabbal | London
This chant for Kaddish is a sort of musical hallmark within the Spanish and Portuguese tradition. With the exception of the night and morning services of Tisha Be'Ab, it is used with only slight variations in every Tefilah of the year. Although based on one of the most widely used motifs for psalmody extant in the Sephardi world, it seems that the Spanish and Portuguese are unique in applying it to the rendering of the Kaddish.
Keter Yitenu Lekha | London
This melody is used for the kedusha of musaf on Shabbatot and Mo'adim in the Spanish and Portuguese Congregation of London. Despite its simplicity, it has an enduring haunting beauty, enhanced by the blending of the solo voice of the hazzan with the SATB (all male) choir.
Kiddush - Im Tashib Mishabbat Raglekha | Amsterdam
The custom across most of the Sephardi world is to chant these two verses from Isaiah Ch 58 as a prelude to the kiddush on shabbat morning. This recording is based on the style of the Amsterdam Portuguese Sephardi community, where it is rousingly sung to the ta'amim for the haftara by all those present.
Kohanekha | London
This melody is sung in the London Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi community as the Sifrei Torah are taken out of the Hechal on Yamim Tovim.
Kol Sasson | Gibraltar
This is the Gibraltar variant of the Kol Sasson melody, known across the Spanish and Portuguese diaspora. The style is more rhythmic than its London / Amsterdam / New York counterparts.
This arrangement, for two voices accompanied by cello and piano, is by Mordechai Halfon.
Kol Sasson | London - Amsterdam - New York
The Kol Sasson formula from the Sheba Berachot.
La'el Barukh Ne'imot Yitenu | Oran
This melody for La'El Baruch Ne'imot Yitenu from the Algerian city of Oran, seamlessly fuses elements of Andalusian and western Classical music.
Lamnatseach Binginot | London
This melody is known throughout the Spanish & Portuguese world, and has cognates among North African communities. It is the setting for Psalm 67 on various festive occasions, and in the New York community, it is also sung in Arbit following the counting of each day of the Omer.
I was able to get my family to join me for this recording which is based on the London variant.
Lamnatseach Binginot | New York
This is the melody for Psalm 67 sung on Motsa'ei Shabbat in New York Spanish and Portuguese community. It bears a similarity to the chants both of the Edot Hamizrach and various Ashkenazi settings, attesting its antiquity.
Lekha Dodi | Casablanca
This tune may well be the prototype of the Spanish and Portugese family of melodies for Lekha Dodi. It predates the composition of the piyyut itself, perhaps by as much as 500 years. It was originally a setting for Shubi Nafshi Limnuchaichi, a piyyut written by R. Yehuda HaLevy.
Lekha Dodi | Gibraltar
This tune for Lekha Dodi from Gibraltar is a variant of one of the most widely known Sephardi melodies for the piyyut Yigdal Elohim Chai.
Lekha Dodi | London
In The Ancient Melodies of the Liturgy of the Spanish and Portuguese Jews the 'learned Hazzan', D.A. de Sola, identifies the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi tune for Lekha Dodi as deriving from what he believes to be its original 16th century setting.
Lema'ankha Elohai | London
The melody for Hashem Bekol Shofar / Lema'ankha Elohai is perhaps one of the oldest in the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi repertoire. It has iterations across the entire Sephardi world, suggesting that its origins are very ancient indeed. As a lachan it is used as the setting for second of the repetitions of Hayom Harat Olam on Rosh Hashanah and, in some communities, as the tune for the piyyutim Shamem Har Tsion and Yisrael Abadeka in the Yom Kippur liturgy. A more embellished variant serves as the chant for Keter Yitenu Lekha on both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
Mah She'akhalnu | New York - London
This melody is sung at the conclusion of the Birkat Hamazon. The New York tradition differs from that of London in not beginning the piece with the two verses from Psalm 37 which precede this text.
Meyuchad | London
This is the London variant of Meyuchad BeEheyeh Asher Eheyeh sung at the conclusion of the selicha Chatanu Tsurenu.
Mizmor LeDavid Habu Lashem Bene Elim | London
This is the melody sung most frequently for Psalm 29 in the London Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi community, as the Sefer Torah is returned to the Hechal.
Mizmor LeDavid Habu Lashem Bene Elim | Morocco
A Moroccan melody for Psalm 29 sung on Friday nights as part of Kabbalat Shabbat.
Mizmor LeDavid Hashem Ro'i | London
This plain, but beautiful, chant for Psalm 23 on Ereb Shabbat follows the custom of the London community, and employs a motif found throughout the Sephardi world for the singing of Psalms.
Mizmor Shir Leyom Hashabbat | London
Edward Elgar believed that the chant that is best known in Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi communities as the melody for Mizmor Shir Leyom Hashabat (Ps 92) was the very one sung by the Levites in the Temple in Jerusalem. He, therefore, appropriated it for the setting for the ‘Morning Psalm’ (also Ps 92) in his oratorio ‘The Apostles’.
Although any claims to its Levitical provenance may be speculative, what is beyond doubt is that the melody is one of great antiquity. This is attested by the fact that close variants of this psalmodic mode are sung in communities throughout the Sephardi world.
Musaf - Shabbat and Festivals - Abot and Geburot | London
In common with many communities in North Africa, in the Spanish and Portuguese tradition there is no repetition of the Musaf on Shabbatot, nor in most instances on the Shalosh Regalim. In London and Amsterdam the custom is for the Hazzan to read aloud until the end of the Kedusha, and again from Retsei until the end of the Amidah. In New York the Hazzan reads the Amidah out loud in its entirety.
Nakdishakh - 'Arvoles' Melody
This setting for Nakdishakh is the hauntingly beautiful romance Arvoles Lloran Por Lluvias.
Nakdishakh - Festive | New York
This festive melody for Nakdishakh, is from the repertoire of the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Synagogue in New York. The composer and the date of its composition are unknown. In addition to the Kedusha it is a setting for En Kelohenu, Kaddish le'ela and parts of the Hallel.
Nakdishakh - Festive | Amsterdam
In the Spanish and Portuguese repertoire there are melodies which surface in different guises between the different communities. As far as I am aware, there are two variants of the tune on which this recording of Nakdishakh is based: one from Amsterdam and the other from London. The Amsterdam version is sung on festive occasions and features strong rhythmic passages. The London version, which is reserved for Shachrit on the Yamim Hanora'im is sung in free tempo throughout. This recording mostly follows the style of Amsterdam, but includes elements from both traditions.
Nakdishakh - Festive | London
This melody for the Kedusha of Shachrit is quintessentialy English, and is unique to the Spanish and Portuguese community of London. It is sung on festivals and special Shabbatot.
Nakdishakh - 'Ki Eshmera Shabbat' Melody | Amsterdam
This setting for the kedusha is the Amsterdam melody for the piyyut Ki Eshmera Shabbat. A more embellished, free-tempo version of this melody can be found in the London Spanish and Portuguese repertoire.
Nakdishakh - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Mincha) | London
This chant for Nakdishakh is used on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi tradition, and is based on the ancient Iberian melody for the piyyut Achot Ketanah. This recording is of the London community's variant. In addition to the Kedushah is also used as the high holiday setting for the Yitgadal portion of the Kaddish.
Nakdishakh - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Shachrit) | London
This melody, from the London Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi community, is reserved exclusively for the Kedusha of Shachrit on both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. Curiously it is unrelated to any other melody or motif from the high holiday repertoire. It is, however, very similar to a tune used in Amsterdam on festive occcasions. (See above.)
Nakdishakh - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur | Suriname - New York
This melody for the selicha Ana Ke'ab Zedoni is also occasionally used on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur as a setting for the Kedusha. Of North African origin, it was brought from the Suriname congregation to New York, in all likelihood, by the hazzan Jacques Judah Lyons (1814-1877). In Parimaribo, the capital of Suriname the shamash (beadle) of the synagogue would walk through the streets of the Jewish Quarter chanting the words: Selichot, senhores, selichot to this tune in order to rouse the worshipers for the early-morning selichot service.
In recent years the melody has been introduced into the Amsterdam repertoire.
Nishmat Kol Chai | London
Nishmat Kol Chai is an ancient piyyut chanted on Shabbat and Mo’adim at the opening of Shachrit. It also forms part of the Hallel Hagadol sung on Pesach at the Haggadah. The melody is based on a Moroccan prototype and the present recording is of the version of the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi community of London, which is almost identical to the variant used in the Portuguese community of Amsterdam.
Oseh Shalom - End of Kaddish Titkabal
I have used this melody, arranged by Raymond Goldstein, for the close of Kaddish Titkabal when conducting services with the Kolot HaEsnoga Singers. It was made popular in Israel by Naftali Hershtik, Emeritus Hazzan of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue; and in England by Moshe Haschel, Hazzan of the St John's Wood Synagogue. It fits nicely into the Spanish and Portuguese repertoire, alongside the many other Ashkenazi pieces - Sulzer, Mombach, Wasserzug Wailey, Naumbourg, Salamon etc. - that we have on permanent loan.
Oseh Shalom - 'Kol Sasson' Melody | Gibraltar
This melody is the Gibraltar variant of the Kol Sasson melody known across the Spanish and Portuguese diaspora. The style is more rhythmic than its London / Amsterdam / New York counterparts. Here it is used as a setting for the concluding verses of the Birkat Hamazon, and is often used as the chant at a wedding or Sheba Berakhot and on the festival of Shabu'ot.
Pitchu Li | Gibraltar
This melody for verses 19-24 of Psalm 118 is from the Sephardi community of Gibraltar. It is sung on a variety of festive occasions, including the Hallel at the Pesach Seder and on Shabou'ot morning. It is also a mainstay of the wedding service repertoire on the Rock.
Ra'u Banim Et Geburato - Emile Jonas | Paris
This setting for Ra'u Banim was composed by Emile Jonas (1827-1905) during his tenure as choirmaster and musical director of the Portuguese Synagogue in Paris. It became widely known amongst French Sephardim and, via the Alliance Israélite Universelle, in communities throughout North Africa and the Ottoman Empire. In the early 1970's it was adopted by the Spanish and Portuguese community of London.
Shehecheyanu - Yamim Nora'im | London
This melody, based on the chant for the Kal Nidrei formula, is sung in the synagogue prior to sounding the Shofar on Rosh Hashana and in the Arbit service of Yom Kippur.
Shira Hadasha | New York
In the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Synagogue of New York on Shabbatot and Mo’adim the closing lines of the Beracha Ga’al Yisrael are sung to an arresting and unusual melody, not known in either Amsterdam or London.
Shofet Kol Ha'arets | London
This piyyut is found in both Sephardi and Ashkenazi liturgies. For Ashkenazim it forms part of the selichot on the day preceding Rosh Hashana, while in the Sephardi rite it is sung on the first day of Rosh Hashana itself.
In the Spanish and Portuguese tradition this lachan (melody) is applied, to a number of additional selections during the Yamim Hanora'im: The first of the three renderings of Hayom Harat Olam, and in an elaborated form, to the piyyut Ohila LaEl, and to Vehu Rachum on the eve of Yom Kippur.
Shuba Lim'onakh | London
This was one of Hazzan Abinun's pièces de résistance. His sweet sotto voce filled the space of the synagogue as the Hechal was closed before the reading of Musaf. The setting for Hashibenu is by E Hart, of the West London Synagogue.
Sos Assis | Amsterdam
Verses chanted in the Portuguese Sephardi community of Amsterdam prior to the recitation of Kiddush on a festival morning.
Tehilat - Beethoven
Tehilat Hashem: based on the theme of the final movement of the Symphony no. 6 (Pastoral) by Ludwig van Beethoven
Tehilat - Birkat Hamazon | Amsterdam
This melody for the pesukim sung before Birkat Hazmazon is from the Portuguese community of Amsterdam, where it is also used on festive days as a setting for portions of the Hallel and the piyyut En Kelohenu. The arrangement is by Raymond Goldstein. The melody is unknown in London, but a variant, bearing a different time signature, is sung in the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in New York to En Kelohenu.
Tehilat | Bordeaux
This variant of the Spanish and Portuguese melody for the Tehilat of Mincha on Shabbatot and Yamim Tobim is sung in the Spanish and Portuguese communities of France, and has been adopted by many French congregations of North African provenance.
Tehilat - Eves of Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet | London
On the eves of Simchat Torah and Shabbat Beresheet, following the singing of the piyyut Yigdal Elohim Chai, Mi Sheberachs are recited for the Senhores Hatanim. On Simchat Torah that for the Hatan Torah precedes the one for the Hatan Beresheet. On Shabbat Beresheet the order is reversed. Between the two Mi Sheberachs the Hazzan sings Tehilat Hashem to this melody.
Tehilat - Zemirot | New York
Borrowed from a composition by Samuel de Sola (1839-1866) Hazzan of the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London, this melody is sung as a prelude to the Zemirot at the start of Shabbat services at Congregation Shearith Israel, the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi Synagogue in New York
Tikun Tal - Shezufat Shemesh | New York
Across the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi diaspora, the piyyutim that comprise Tikkunei Tal and Geshem are sung to this chant, with the exception of the pizmonim Leshoni Bonanta and Lekh Leshalom Geshem, which have their own distinct melodies. This recording is based on the New York variant.
Ubyom Simchatkhem - Rosh Hashanah | London
This melody, used on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and during selichot for the antiphonal chanting of biblical verses, is an important and recurring motif in the Spanish and Portuguese High Holiday repertoire.
Vehineh Bo'az | Megillat Ruth
In the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi tradition, a short excerpt from the Book of Ruth is chanted to its ta’amim on the days between Lag La’omer and the festival of Shabou'ot. This unique practice, signaling the imminent approach of the Mo’ed, may well be the prototype for what we know today as a ‘book trailer’ for this most remarkable and moving of stories.
Vehu Rachum - Arbit Yom Kippur | New York
This melody which precedes Barechu at the beginning of arbit, is identical with the chant for Meyuchad Be'ehyeh Asher Eheyeh, sung during the selichot of Yom Kippur.
Veshameru Bene Yisrael | London
This chant for Veshameru Bene Yisrael is used in the London Spanish and Portuguese community both during Arbit on Friday evenings and for Kiddush on Shabbat morning. It is a recitative based on a Tehilim motif that is used across the Sephardi world.
Veshameru Bene Yisrael | Old Spanish
This distinctly medieval setting for Veshameru Benei Yisrael was made more widely known by the musician/musicologist Miguel Sánchez after having discovered it in the archives of the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid. Its non-metric structure and melodic style point in the direction of its origins in pre-expulsion Spain. It is interesting to note that the concluding words: 'Ubayom hashebi'i shabat vayinafash' share a similar tonal progression to the chant in use in the Spanish and Portuguese community in London (see the previous recording).
Yah Ayom - Hosha'ana Rabba | London
This piyyut accompanies the first of the seven circuits on Hosha'ana Rabba and uses the Yedei Rashim lachan. It is instructive to compare this London version of the chant with that of Amsterdam, as in Yigdal Elohim Chai below.
Yah Ribon | Amsterdam
This melody is known in the Amsterdam and London Sephardi Spanish and Portuguese communities as a tune for the piyyut Yigdal Elohim Chai, and additionally in Holland as a setting for the shabbat table song Yah Ribon. It is often noted that it bears a resemblance to the Scottish folksong Coming Through the Rye.
Yehe Shemeh Rabba - Festive | London
This festive setting from the London Spanish and Portuguese repertoire is a wonderfully spirited melody, fitting the bill beautifully for such occasions as Shabbat Hol Hamo'ed or Shebi'i Shel Pesach.
Yehe Shemeh Rabba - Kamti Lehallel Melody
This tune for the Kaddish is based on the melody for Kamti Lehallel, a piyyut sung in Amsterdam that I learned from my dear friend and teacher, Abraham Lopes Cardozo (z'l).
Yehe Shemeh Rabba - Kol Sasson Melody
This tune for the Kaddish is based on the melody for Kol Sasson from the Sheba Berachot. It may be sung on the Shalosh Regalim or on Shabbat Rosh Hodesh. It is usually paired with the Yitgadal melody for Shabbat Rosh Hodesh listed below.
Yehe Shemeh Rabba - Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur | London
This magnificent melody for Yehe Shemeh Rabba, based on the Yedei Rashim chant, is sung on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur in the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi community of London.
Yigdal Elohim Chai - 'Le Violon de Mon Père' | Enrico Macias
This melody for Yigdal Elohim Chai borrowed from the French-Algerian singer Enrico Macias is very popular among French speaking Sephardim.
Yigdal Elohim Chai - Shachrit | Morocco
Yigdal Elohim Chai - Old Shabbat | London
Yigdal Elohim Chai - 'Old Spanish' Melody | New York / London / Amsterdam
This tune for Yigdal Elohim Chai is described by the Jewish Encyclopedia as one 'whose old Spanish character is evident.' The recording here is a medley of three of its variants. The first two strophes are sung in the New York style, while the third and final strophes are performed according to the London tradition. The fourth strophe, in which a descant of the London version predominates, is how it is sung in Amsterdam. (Note: in New York this melody is no longer used as a setting for Yigdal, but is used for Yitgadal and parts of the Hallel on Sukkot.)
Yigdal Elohim Chai - Traditional Sephardi
This melody for Yigdal Elohim Chai, was sung throughout the Ottoman Empire and beyond. Despite attempts to introduce it into the London Spanish and Portuguese congregation, it sadly never became part of the repertoire.
Yigdal Elohim Chai - Traditional Shabbat | London
Yigdal Elohim Chai - Yamim Nora'im | Amsterdam
In the Amsterdam minhag the setting for Yigdal Elohim Chai on the Yamim Hanora'im is the melody for the piyyut Yedei Rashim. This differs from the tradition in London and New York where, on those occasions, variations of the chant for Et Sha'arei Ratson are used.
Yigdal Elohim Chai - Yamim Nora'im | London
This variation on the Et Sha'arei Ratson melody is the London Spanish and Portuguese community's setting for Yigdal Elohim Chai on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
Yimlokh Hashem Le'olam - Festive | London
The singing of Yimlokh Hashem Le'olam precedes the return of the sepher torah to the hechal on shabbat and festival mornings. This melody in the Spanish and Portuguese Sephardi tradition is relatively recent. It was an innovation instituted by the late Sir Alan Mocatta in the late 1950's. The original setting for this melody is a festive melody for the yehe shemeh rabba portion of the kaddish.
Yitgadal - Festive Melody | London
This melody for Yitgadal is its most commonly used festive setting in the London Spanish and Portuguese community. It is invariably paired with the Hallel d'Italia melody for Yehe Shemeh Rabba.
Yitgadal - First Night Shalosh Regalim | London
Yitgadal - 'Hallel d'Italia' Melody | Oran
The Hallel d'Italia melody is one of the best known festive melodies in the Spanish and Portuguese repertoire. This recording is based on a variant that was sung in the Algerian city of Oran. It was taught to me by Hazzan Jacqui Amsali, who grew up in that community.
Yitgadal - Shabbat Rosh Hodesh | London
This festive melody for Yitgadal is peculiar to the London Spanish and Portuguese community and is most usually sung on Shabbat-Rosh Hodesh or Shabbat-Hol Hamo'ed.