Benedetto Marcello: Maoz Tzur

Written by Joshua Breitzer

Cantor

In category: Song of the Day

Published December 25, 2019

This medieval poem so closely associated with Hanukkah is often sung to a triumphant, march-like tune based on a German drinking song. Benedetto Marcello, a Venetian contemporary of Vivaldi, composed this wandering, evocative melody that gives new life to the notion of “rededicating the altar” (since “rededication” is a literal translation of the Hebrew word Hanukkah).

“Maoz Tzur” (Rock of Ages) by Benedetto Marcello, sung by Zamir Chorale of Boston

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Joshua Breitzer is cantor and music director of Congregation Beth Elohim in Brooklyn. Considered one of his generation’s leading talents, Cantor Breitzer has performed at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Merkin Concert Hall. For the past several years, he has appeared with NYFOS in our annual “A Goyishe Christmas to You!” program, and has coached several NYFOS’s Emerging Artists on Jewish repertoire.

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