Un'tanne tokef 06:48

Liner Notes

From Neil W. Levin's Introduction to Volume 14:

In the rendition of un’tanne tokef in Volume 14 that is attributed to Moshe Koussevitzky—originally an improvisation that he replicated in more or less the same way each year on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur at his synagogue in Brooklyn, New York—the repeated words and phrases make structural sense; and they reflect the imagery of the piyyut by intuiting and interpreting multiple layers of meaning. Whether he would have felt it necessary to reduce the rendition at his prewar khor shul pulpit in Warsaw we cannot know (this improvisation stems from his American years), although its dignity and appropriateness to text as well as occasion are not inconsistent with khor shul standards or those of the modern brand of orthodoxy promoted by those synagogues.



In truth You both judge and admonish—You are both witness and omniscient expert. You write and seal, count and retell—remembering all that seems forgotten. You open the Book of Records, of memorials, and the deeds of mankind speak for themselves, and the stamp of each one’s hand is included therein.

And the Great Shofar of judgment is sounded. And but a gentle whisper is heard—a still, small voice; and the angels, seized with fear and trembling, announce: “Behold, today is Judgment Day!” Even the hosts of heaven are remembered for judgment; even they are not immune from the processes of this day. And all humanity passes before You like a flock of sheep.



Composer: Moshe Koussevitzky

Length: 06:48
Genre: Liturgical

Performers: Neil Levin, Conductor;  London Synagogue Singers;  Benzion Miller, Cantor

Date Recorded: 11/01/1998
Venue: New West End Synagogue (E), London, UK
Engineer: Hughes, Campbell
Assistant Engineer: Weir, Simon
Project Manager: Levin, Neil

Additional Credits:

Publisher: MS

Translation: Rabbi Morton M. Leifman


Don't miss our latest releases, podcasts, announcements and giveaways throughout the year! Stay up to date with our newsletter.

{{msToTime(currentPosition)}} / {{msToTime(duration)}}