Thursday, November 23, 2017

Cantor Moshe Koussevitzky: Aneinu (1959)

Aneinu by Cantor Moshe Koussevitzky [1899–1966]; Aneinu (עֲנֵנוּ; “Answer Us”) is a prayer of supplication added to the Shemoneh Esreh on a fast-day or ta’anit. There is no fast day coming up this month, so this is not the reason that I post this video. The next fast day is Asarah B'Tevet (10 Tevet), which is considered a minor fast day since it begins just before dawn and ends after nightfall. It falls this year on the secular or civil calendar on December 27th. This recording is taken from the hazzan’s visit to a conservative shul, Congregation Beth El in Waterbury, CT, on Sunday May 3rd 1959. As for Aneinu, I like the prayer itself and how it is sung with such emotion and sincerity by Cantor Koussevitzky. It would seem a simple enough request to Ribbono Shel Olam: Aneinu. (Maybe we don’t want to really hear the answer; maybe we are not ready for it.) You can also hear Aneinu in a studio recorded version, High Holiday Prayers: Volume 2 (first song on side 1), here.
Via: Youtube

Beth El Synagogue in Waterbury, Connecticut (at 359–375 Cooke Street), dates to 1929. It is built in the Byzantine style and has a prominent hemispheric dome. It was designed by Nathan Myers and built by Shapiro & Sons. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1955. The building, however, is no longer owned by Beth El; when the Conservative congregation faced a declining membership, it sold it in 2000 to Yeshiva Gedolah of Waterbury. The Orthodox Jewish school, on the other hand, is doing well.
Photo CreditConnecticut Jewish History 2:1 (Fall 1991), 139