Mystical Magic in Many Styles

Reviewed by Pieter Uys

This collection of meditations, devotions and ecstacies from around the globe, mostly sung in Hebrew and English, also contains songs in Ladino, Lugandan, Yiddish and Aramaic.


composed by Ovadia Ha-Ger in the 12th century. 2 .Laura Wetzler was assisted by an outstanding group of musicians to create an impressive and varied album of devotional music. It opens with the intense Wa-eda Ma. one of the oldest notated pieces of synagogue music discovered yet. Isaiah 6:3 and the work of two mystics from Spain. The Kol Haneshama meditation with its hypnotic percussive texture draws on Psalm 150.

The melodious music is a seamless fusion of East and West. Sung entirely in Hebrew. it has an uplifting effect on the spirit.Narrow Bridge is a Hassidic song with a jazzy feel and is followed by Laura's interpetation of Im Nin'alu. the enchanting Bar Yochai reflects the ten Sephirot on the Tree of Life in its stanzas. This version is more earthy and traditional but equally appealing. the song that made Ofra Haza famous many years ago. 3 . With its buoyant percussion and engrossing textures.

A definite highlight of the album is L'cha Dodi. whilst Jacob Wakes Up. where Laura is joined by Gershom Sizomu and JJ Keki of the Abayudaya community of Uganda.The words of the uptempo Klezmer Hechalot date from about 1700 years ago and it is a rhythmic number with a most joyous feel. an event from Genesis 28. Sung in LugandanHebrew. As a stirring devotional to the Sabbath and the Shechina it gracefully carries the words of Salomon Alkabetz on a lilting rhythm. 4 . this is a most charming blend of African and Hebrew music with a catchy tune. is a tender slow song with lovely guitar.

This inspiring music has a salutary effect on the soul and is a wonderful showcase of the wealth of mystical Jewish music from different eras and areas. There is also a note on the background and tradition of every a moving prayer for protection and blessing.laurawetzler.html The attractive CD booklet contains an introduction by Wetzler. it has a complex arrangement and frequent tempo changes. 5 . the lyrics in Hebrew and English plus information on the writers and composers. The album concludes with the tender and comforting Shalom Alechem. http://www. Ya Ribom Alam is an exuberant Aramaic praise song with an appealing melody and impressive instrumental flourishes.The Hassidic composition Dudele is sung in a blend of Yiddish and Hebrew.

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