I. Adonai ma adam 02:27
III. Yoshev b'seter 01:39
IV. Shiviti 03:19

Liner Notes

These three settings are excerpted from the composer’s collection of memorial liturgy, Memorial Service for the Departed, written in 1960 on commission by the Cantors Assembly of America. (The other prayer included is ma enosh.) These are among the most commonly recited liturgical texts or Psalms for memorial services and funerals in all Jewish orientations. The commission came at a time when Castelnuovo-Tedesco was enjoying some of his greatest success in both Italy and America. He had just received notice that his opera The Merchant of Venice, which had been awarded the Campari Prize in 1958, would be premiered in Florence at the 1961 Maggio Musicale. The return to Italy for that performance would be a professional highlight, but also an emotional personal experience, for it brought into focus for him all the many friends, acquaintances, and family who died since he had left for America—and especially those who had been murdered in the Holocaust. This work was dedicated to his cousin, Lina Castelnuovo-Tedesco, but it was a special remembrance as well for his parents and brother.

These settings were intended for use at any memorial service, individual or collective, including the yizkor service on Yom Kippur and Festivals in those synagogues that use organ; and even for funerals in nontraditional contexts where organ could be used during the mourning period.

By: Neil W. Levin



Sung in Hebrew

Psalm 144:3–3

O lord, what is man that You should care about him, mortal man, that You should think of him?
Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.

Psalm 91:1–2

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High abides under the protection of the Almighty. I say of the Lord: He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust.

Psalm 16:8–9

I am ever mindful of the Lord’s presence; He is at my right hand; I shall never be shaken.
So my heart rejoices, my whole being exults, and my body rests secure.



Composer: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco

Length: 08:15
Genre: Liturgical

Performers: Neil Levin, Conductor;  New York Cantorial ChoirMcNeil Robinson, Organ;  Simon Spiro, Tenor

Date Recorded: 02/01/2001
Venue: Riverside Church (A), New York
Engineer: Robert Rapley (Recording), Dirk Sobotka (Editing)
Assistant Engineer: Nunes, Michelle
Assistant Engineer: Frost, David
Project Manager: Levin, Neil

Additional Credits:

Publisher: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco estate
Translation: JPS Tanakh 1999


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