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March 6, 2004

NJ.com

The Hasidic A Cappella Moscow Men's Choir will bring with them secrets of the former Soviet Union when it performs at Congregation Keneseth Israel 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. After the fall of Soviet Russia, the vaults of the KGB were opened. Upon searching the archives, choir members discovered the music of the great synagogues of Russia, dating back to the 1800's. Before the discovery, the music hadn't been heard in Russia since the fall of Moscow in 1918, says Cantor Ellen Sussman of Congregation Keneseth Israel.

"Theirs is one of the most remarkable stories I ever heard," says Sussman. In addition these remarkable finds, the choir group will present a varied program with some pieces written in Yiddish, she explains. "It's a very eclectic program. It is uplifting, inspiring and heartfelt," says the cantor. Traveling to the United States for a one-month tour, the 21 member group, is hoping to raise money so they can continue making music in their native Moscow and throughout Europe.

Established in 1990 with assistant and support of JOINT, an American charitable Jewish organization, and the chief Rabbi of Russia, A. Shaevich, the choir's goal is to perform and popularize Jewish vocal music including folk songs, liturgical repertoire, and modern Jewish and Israeli vocal and choral compositions. Led by Alexander Tsaliuk, artistic leader and conductor, the group also works to preserve the music of their native Russia. Members include graduates of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State conservatory and other musical institutes, as well as professional musicians.

Posted by acapnews at March 6, 2004 8:17 AM

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