We are delighted to make
available to you a rare and exciting CD of
authentic pizmonim and music for different occasions, recorded by Jewish
Hazzanim and musicians in Iraq, before the mass exodus of Jews from
that country. It includes pizmonim for various occasions in the
Jewish calendar and life-cycle.
Shbahoth is the Babylonian
(Iraqi) Jewish term for songs of
praise. This anthology presents for the first time on CD the greatest of the
Iraqi Jewish singers accompanied by the finest instrumentalists in historical
recordings from the 1920s. This reissue, in carefully remastered
sound, echoes two
millennia of tradition.
The Jewish tradition in Iraq goes back to the time of the destruction of the
First Temple in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar and the subsequent exile to Babylon
some 2,500 years ago. This unbroken tradition finally ended in 1950-51 when
virtually the whole Jewish community left Iraq for Israel. Although some
recordings were made in Israel by Iraqi singers this anthology allows us to hear
the authentic sounds of Iraq without later influences.
Following a chance discovery by Julian Futter of the original 78s (which
included unissued test pressings), Mr. Futter and Dr Sara Manasseh, the distinguished
music scholar and London resident, whose family originated from Iraq, decided to make these records
Dr Sara Manasseh's illuminating sleeve notes place the music in its religious perspective
and makes it accessible to the non-specialist listener.
This recording is possibly one of the last of a once
thriving and flourishing Jewish community, which dated back to the
first exile to Babylon, and which remained there till the mid 20th
century. This great era ended when harmony and cultural
diversity in Iraq was no longer possible.
It is of great interest to all Sephardim &
Ashkenazim who enjoy and are interested in the authentic Sephardi culture
and tradition which is part of the rich tapestry of the Jewish
It is a golden opportunity to buy a rare and
beautiful recording of this nature for you as well as for your friends and
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