Sunday, September 21, 2008

EXCLUSIVE #3: Selichos with Naftali Hershtik and Eli Yaffe's Choir

This past Motze Shabbos The Jerusalem Great Synagogue held a special Selichos service that took over 2 hours, and the Shul was absolutely packed. Although I really hope this is not true, the rumor goes that Hershtik will be retiring after the High Holidays so this was no ordinary event. Hershtik is undisputedly one of the greatest Chazzanim the world has seen in the past three decades and although he hasn't become as popular as Helfgot, there's a lot to like about his voice. Experience, good nusach and pleasant voice timber are his biggest assets, not to mention his amazing falsettos.

In addition, Eli Yaffe did an amazing job directing the choir. He is second to none when it comes to vocal arrangements. Forget about the choirs you hear in Jewish Music albums - this is the real deal. The choir is pleasant, in tune and always surprising.

I will be posting more videos soon; in this one you can hear the opening song "Ashrei". There isn't anything out of this world in this clip, so those of you who think Chazzanus is boring will not be able to enjoy too much of it. But keep in mind that this is a Selichos service and as such it must be solemn and traditional, leaving little room for geshmack moves.

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