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I've Heard There Was a Secret Chord

Norman Lebrecht uncovers stories about the role music has played at some of the key points in Jewish history.

Another chance to hear the first programme in a three-part series examining the complex relationship between music and Jewish identity, presented by Norman Lebrecht.

Spanning thousands of years, from King David and the creation of the Psalms, to composers writing today including Steve Reich and Robert Saxton, Norman uncovers a wealth of fascinating stories about the role music has played at some of the key points in Jewish history.

Today, the acclaimed Ladino singer Yasmin Levy explains why music and memory became so intertwined when the Jews were expelled from Spain at the end of the 15th century, rabbi Shlomo Levin tells the amazing story of how a marching tune sung by Napoleon and his troops in 1812 became an integral part of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jewish people, and the musicologist Gila Flam has some surprising revelations about the music sung by the Jews in the Nazi concentration camps.

With contributions from rabbi Yehoshua Engelman, the composer Steve Reich, Professor Edwin Seroussi from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the musicologist and and founder of the Boston Camerata Joel Cohen, the violinist Eyal Shiloach, rabbi Shlomo Levine, and Dr Gila Flam, Head of the Music Department at the National Library in Jerusalem.

Producer Emma Bloxham

First broadcast in March 2014.

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Mon 24 Nov 2014 22:00

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