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October 20, 1995 - Image 75

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1995-10-20

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brooks /

they were in town," he attempts.
That's better.
Cantor Gail Hirschenfang at Temple Beth El first
learned religious melodies from her father and grandfa-
ther. On the secular side of things, she grew up listening
to Joni Mitchell and Joan Baez.
"There was a pureness in the quality of their singing,"
she says. "I also loved musical theater and Julie Andrews.
I listened to My Fair Lady all the time."
Cantor Norman Rose of Temple Emanu-El acknowl-
edges that he is "strictly a square, musically. I only was

Emanu-El, he says his operatic training is still
with him. But Jewish music demands a differ-
ent type of presentation, he says. It commands
a different mood.
"There's a certain feeling one has when in-
terpreting Jewish music. It's hard
to explain. The music is very
the hiv modal, not sad, but modal. A lot of
it, of course, consists of chanting,"
he says.
Cantor Harold Orbach at Tem-
ple Israel shares his colleague's
love for opera. Both men admire
the famous late Swedish tenor Jus-
si Bjoerling.
Cantor Orbach, however, also
enjoys musical scores from plays
like Phantom, West Side Story and
The King and I. Although he has
attended live performances by pop-
ular artists like Frank Sinatra and
Tony Bennett, Cantor Orbach says
the secular side of him remains
partial to the classics (i.e. operas),
which bolster his performance on
and off the bimah.
"It's like a ballerina at the bar,"
he says. "The classics is where you
compete against a standard, a norm,
to keep yourself in top shape and form."
Cantor Glantz at Adat Shalom applied a dif-
ferent theory to competition when he auditioned
for cantorial school at the Jewish Theological
Seminary in New York.
His choice of song to perform before a high-
brow panel of judges was "I Can See Clearly
Now," by Johnny Nash.
Strumming his guitar, Cantor Glantz went
to town. Onlookers — mostly older students —
were taken aback and suggested he also try his
back-up piece: Kol Nidre.

Ajudge sniffed and said:
"Oh dear. I don't want to
interested in opera." After graduating from
Cantor Gail
hear Johnny Nash."
Eastman School of Music in New York, he Hirschenfang:
But another judge, more
studied the art in Milan, Italy. Cantor Rose's Dulcet tones.
insisted: "Hugo, I
plans for an career in opera did not work out,
want to hear it."
so he took to a Big Apple stage at the Roxy
In the end, Cantor
Glantz entered the semi-
"Show-tune stuff," is all he remembers. "I've blocked
nary and has widened the scope of his musical menu since
it all out."
Fifteen weeks of vaudeville in the late 1940s drove Mr. that time.
"But, I still identify with the soul of our popular mu-
Rose to the School of Sacred Music, part of Hebrew Union
College. After 40 years as a cantor, 24 spent at Temple sic." he says. "It's something I relate to." El

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