Sheyyibbane bet hammikdash
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Sheyyibane beit hammikdash, a setting of a section of the liturgy that expresses continuous hope for messianic redemption, restoration of the Jewish people’s spiritual as well as national sovereignty in its biblical homeland, and rebuilding of the ancient Temple in Jerusalem, is unquestionably Israel Schorr’s best-known composition. It catapulted to fame with its signature performances and recordings by Moshe Koussevitzky (1899–1966), one of the most celebrated virtuoso cantors of the 20th century.

The version recorded here is based largely on Koussevitzky’s popular rendition, especially as sung on his RCA Victor recording—which became the most commonly accepted version. In that rendition, the improvisatory element in the second part of the piece was somewhat truncated, while the melodic repetition in the first part was extended—all as a practical solution to the problems posed by the restrictions of 78-rpm discs. The piece had to be divided into two segments so that each could fit, with a cadential conclusion, onto one of the two sides of a 12-inch record. Owing to the great success of the recording, that version was generally followed by subsequent arrangers and orchestrators.

By: Neil W. Levin