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MP3 Arlan Wareham - Aliyah

If you like Jewish music, or if you like pipe organ music, this album is for you. It''s traditional Jewish melodies arranged for pipe organ in a classical style.

28 MP3 Songs
CLASSICAL: Traditional, CLASSICAL: Contemporary


Welcome to my fifth album of music sequenced for pipe organ! I called this album "Aliyah" because it is the first I have produced since making aliyah to Israel, nearly a year ago, at the end of 2005. Half of these tracks have actually appeared on one of my previous albums, but the other half are new. With the exception of the last two tracks, this album consists entirely of Jewish tunes that I have arranged for organ.

How the music was produced

All of the sounds that you hear are from real pipes in real pipe organs! In fact, with the exception of track 22 (the Hanukkah Medley), all of the sounds are from an organ built by E. M. Skinner in a church in Chicago in the 1920''s. Track 22 uses the sounds of an historic Silbermann organ built in 1721 and located in a church in Rötha, Germany.

The pipes were recorded one by one. I bought these recordings from the people who recorded them so meticulously. A program that I have on my PC, called "Hauptwerk", creates a "front end" for playing the organ. Another program, on my Macintosh computer, called "Digital Performer", is the one that actually plays the organ. It does this through a standard protocol for communication between musical instruments called "MIDI", which stands for "Musical Instrument Digital Interface". Using Digital Performer, I can specify exactly which stops will be used when, which manuals of the organ will be played, the positions of the swell boxes (which can control the volume of the sound on some manuals), and, of course, exactly which notes will be played when and for how long. This process is called "sequencing".

The music

The first 6 tracks are a suite of variations on a familiar tune for "Shalom Aleichem". I actually wrote these originally for myself to play at an organ marathon concert. This concert was organized by my organ teacher, Donald Vaughn, and was held in February of 2004 at my alma mater, La Sierra University, to celebrate the completion (after more than 30 years!) of the pipe organ in the University Church there. Donald Vaughn also built the organ!

Track 7, "Y''did Nefesh", is an arrangement of a lovely tune which is used to sing a beautiful poem from the siddur.

Tracks 8 through 10 are my arrangements of several tunes that are used for singing verses from various psalms at different points in the Friday night or Shabbat morning liturgy. "Esa Enai" is one that I think of nearly every morning when I open the blinds on my kitchen window and look at Mt. Hermon.

Tracks 11 through 18 are arrangements of various tunes that we sing during the course of a Shabbat morning service.

"Yotzer Or" is the morning blessing that comes immediately after the "Barchu", the formal beginning of the service. The words for "Emet, Emet" come from the middle of a paragraph after the "Shma". This tune was a favorite of Sol Halfon z"l, a dear friend of ours and a faithful member of the Shabbat morning minyan at Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC), our former synagogue in Los Angeles. Tracks 13 and 14 are arrangements of two completely different tunes for the same words: "El Adon", an alphabetic acrostic poem, where the first letters of each line form the Hebrew alef-bet.

Track 15 is a simple 4-part arrangement of the tune for "Etz Chaim Hi" which is sung when we return the Torah scroll to the ark at the end of the Torah service. Track 16 is a toccata based on the same tune.

"Hu Eloheinu" comes from the Shabbat morning Musaf service. I learned this tune at our new synagogue, "HaMinyan HaMispachti" in Kfar Vradim. Track 17 is a simple, 4-part arrangement of the tune, and Track 18 is a chorale prelude based on the tune.

Track 19, "Achat Shaalti", is a trio arrangement of a tune for several verses from a psalm that we read from the beginning of Elul until the end of the High Holy Days.

Tracks 20 and 21 are my settings of a tune that Fran Chalin, the cantorial soloist of BCC, wrote two or three years ago. The first setting is a simple 4-part arrangement, and the second is a chorale prelude.

Track 22 is a fun medley of Hanukkah music that I wrote rather quickly during Hanukkah of 2003. This is also the only track that is not recorded on the Skinner organ (which, in fact, had not yet been recorded and made available at that time!). Instead, this track is recorded on an historic organ built in 1721 by Silbermann, which is located in a church in Rötha, Germany.

Tracks 23 through 26 are arrangements of various well-known Jewish melodies. In fact, tracks 24, 25, and 26 are actually Israeli melodies. Track 26, in particular, is based mostly on "HaTikvah", the national anthem of Israel, although it also includes a couple of other melodies: "Hava Nagilah" and "Ose Shalom".

You may want to think of tracks 27 and 28 as bonus tracks. These are the only ones that are NOT based on Jewish melodies. Also, these are by far the oldest music on this album. They are both pieces I wrote in the mid-1970''s, when I was still in college. Neither was originally written for organ. The "Folk Song for Strings" was originally written for string orchestra. In the middle, it contains the tune of an American folk hymn, "The Lone Wild Bird". Track 28 was originally written for full orchestra and was intended to be the first movement of a symphony, but I never wrote any more movements for it. It also has the distinction of being the only track on the entire album that contains NO pre-existing melodies! Much more recently, I transcribed both of these for organ, although neither of these transcriptions (like several of the other arrangements on this CD) would actually be playable by a live organist!

If you have questions about this album, or you just want to keep in touch, here''s my e-mail address:


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