Jewish music from Bohemia and Moravia

A radio program of the French Center for Jewish Music, hosted by Hervé Roten

MUSIQUES JUIVES D’HIER ET D’AUJOURD’HUI - MARDI 20 DECEMBRE 2011, JUDAIQUE FM, 21h05

Surrounded by Poland, Germany and Slovakia, Czech Republic is a country of central Europe that lived many vicissitudes during its history. Yet, for almost 1000 years, Jewish life was flourishing in Bohemia’s capital city, Prague!
We often forget that Prague was one of the towns with the biggest number of synagogues in Europe: the alt-neue synagogue, Pinkas and Klaus, and also the Spanish synagogue and the Maisel synagogue.
Musical life was intense there: an organ was already present in the Maisel synagogue at the end of the 16th century and it was played every friday night for the welcoming of the Shabbat.
In Prague and Brno (Moravia), as in Germany, chorals were frequently in usage in the reformed cult.

And then there was the invasion of Czechia by the nazis, Terezin, the liberation, the iron curtain and finally the velvet revolution of Vaclav Havel...
Since around 20 years, Jewish musical life comes progressively back in Czech Republic.

Martha Stellmacher, German musicologist who worked on the synagogal archives of the Jewish Museum of Prague, helps us discover in this program the Jewish music of Bohemia and Moravia, Jewish music of yesterday, but also of today!

Musiques juives de Bohême et Moravie - Hervé Roten (Judaïques FM 94.8)

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