Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Uno Chi Sa?...When In Rome

As long as we're globetrotting, here is another version of Echad Mi Yode'a, this time in Italian, "Uno Chi Sa?", from the Roman tradition.  My trip to Rome in 1989 (visiting my wife, Deeana, who was doing a fellowship in history at the American Academy) had a profound effect on me.  I found the Roman liturgical  music - which has been carefully preserved for generations - to be meaningful in a very personal way.  For myself, who grew up without a distinct Jewish musical tradition of my own and thus had to create one (I'm speaking of the so-called "American nusach" folk style of liturgical song), having the opportunity to experience and absorb the Roman tradition for nearly six weeks felt very comforting.  So much so, that when we were both back home, we decided to adopt their melody for the Shabbat evening Kiddush as our family tradition, which has continued to the present.  I'll get back to all this in a future post, but for now here is a sweet little macaroon of a seder song. Recorded in 1985, the two wonderful soloists (hazzanim) are Rav Haim Vittorio Della Rocca and Rav Avraham Alberto Funaro.  The Italian lyrics may be found here (just scroll down a bit).

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