The Maftirim Collection



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The Maftirim repertoire, born in Edirne, the ancient capital of the Ottoman Empire is an example of Jewish mystic music. This music came to our days by being orally transmitted from master to student. However, with this form of transmission the number of these liturgical songs that arrived to our days has dropped from the thousands to very few indeed.
The last three masters of this music in Turkey, David Behar, Hazzan Isak Maçoro and Hazzan David Sevi, who recorded the present work are maybe the last remnants of this old tradition. The present collection which is the result of five years of intensive work is the struggle to document and transmit whatever we have left of this kind of Turkish Sephardic liturgical music to the next generations. This unique collection should be of tremendous interest to everyone interested in Turkish Classical Music, Turkish Sephardic Music, Jewish Liturgical Music and any other kind of liturgical music.
What will you find in the book that accompanies the album? A detailed introductory study on the Maftirim by Prof. Edwin Seroussi from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem; A repertoire of piyyutim by poets stretching from Rabbi Israel Najjara (ca. 1550-1625) to Isaac Eliyahu Navon (d. 1952) printed in the collection Shirei Israel be-Eretz ha-Qedem (Istanbul 1925/6) and performed by the Maftirim until the last generations; Square Hebrew text researched revised and formalized by Prof. Tova Be’eri from Tel Aviv University; Square Hebrew text typed of the piyyutim, vocalized and annotated by Prof. Isaac Jerusalmi (Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati) with romanized transliteration and Ladino, Turkish and English translations; Musical scores digitalized by Karen Gerson Sarhon and edited by Udî Mahmut Özbay, who also included the “usûls” and metronome values; Lavish pictures of the present-day synagogues of Turkey taken by the famous photographer Izzet Keribar.
What will you find in the album? The recordings of the repertoire kept in the memory of three Maftirim masters of the last and present generation, David Behar, the late Hazzan Isak Maçoro and Hazzan David Sevi in 4 CDs (audio) and 1 DVD (visual). A total of nearly 6 hours of audio and visual recordings.

CD – 1

CD – 2

CD – 3

CD – 4