A Capella Abstract

Running Order:

cover art
Cover painting ‘Alms No1′ by Phyllis Gorelick-King.
Reproduced by kind permission of the
Ben Uri Art Society,
London.

1. Ashrei – Cohen/Glass/Levey/Rosenfeld [03:23]

“Happy are those that dwell in your house” This innovative composition
highlights text taken from Psalm 84 which can also be found in the morning and
afternoon service.

2. Rachem Na – Rosenblum/D.Fisher [04:23]

A lively setting of text taken from Grace After Meals.

3. Mi She’asa Nissim – Freeman [01:32]

This beautiful piece of liturgy is performed on the Sabbath prior to the New Moon.

4. Kedusha – Composer unknown [03:53]

This section of text is the sanctification of the Lord’s name, and is a focal point of the additional Sabbath service.

5. V’shamru – Dunajewsky [03:24]

The tranquillity of this setting reflects the text beautifully, which ushers in the Day of Rest.

6. Uv’yom Hashabbat – Talman [02:15]

This segment of the liturgy deals with the additional meal offering that was
required to be eaten on the Sabbath Day.

7. Sh’ma Koleinu – Trad. [04:15]

“Hear our voice” is a moving plea, and is a highlight of the Day of Atonement liturgy.

8. Adon Olam – Chitman [04:15]

Adon Olam is an additional prayer which concludes many services. Uzi Chitman’s
vibrant composition is performed in communities around the world.

9. Kedusha – Nowakowsky [07:50]

A 19th century composition, also from the Additional Sabbath service, given a
contemporary feel by Stephen Glass.

10. Al Kol Eile – Words and music N.Shemer [04:14]

Through the honey and through the sting, through the bitter and the sweet, do
not destroy my hope, my yearning. Bring me back and I will return to the good
land.

11. Adon Olam – De Sola [05:13]

A 19th century setting has been given an exquisite harmonic treatment of
this well loved traditional melody creating a true fusion of words and sound.

12. Bashana Haba-a – Hirsch/Manor [03:35]

An upbeat and joyful arrangement, highlights the poem “In the coming year”.
Words and music convey a positive and hopeful outlook for peace in the future.

13. Kaddish Titkabal – Gottlieb [02:52]

This rousing Chassidic setting of the prayer which is heard at the conclusion of
The Fast of Yom Kippur. ( Day of Atonement)

Arranged and conducted by Stephen Glass.

Cover Notes

Cantor Stephen Robins

Jewish music always played a major role in his life.
Cantor Robins first appeared as boy soloist in his local synagogue when he was
six years old. He was to become the youngest soloist and lead singer in the choir till he was 16 and sang many cantorial pieces with the Cantor. It was not until his success aboard a cruise liner in the Caribbean, where he regularly conducted services, that he decided to pursue a cantorial vocation and returned to the UK to study Chazanuth under the late Rev L Bryll, a master musician, composer and lecturer in cantorial music. After graduating from Jews College in London, he continued his vocal studies with Mark Raphael, and was awarded an ARCM diploma in singing. Cantor Stephen Robins has gained the reputation as one of the foremost British Cantors of his generation, possessing a unique, lyrically sweet, tenor voice. For twenty-three years, he served as a full-time chazan in two of Londons most prestigious synagogues. His first full-time position was in Wembley and was later to serve the Edgware United Synagogue, which is mentioned in the Guiness Book of Records as the largest Synagogue in Western Europe.

Whilst serving these two communities, Cantor Robins developed his concert career in tandem with Stephen Glass who was his accompanist and choir conductor. Many of Stephen Glass arrangements were written to enhance both his concert and synagogue services. Internationally, he was the first British Cantor to appear officially in concert in the Michoel Centre in Moscow in 1989 and has appeared in concert and also conducted services in Israel, Canada and across the United States. Cantor Robins concert career has included appearances at many of the major London Concert venues, including the Barbican, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall and the Royal Albert Hall. He has sung as a guest soloist with all the major London Jewish Choirs and has frequently been seen and heard on the BBC as well as for both commercial radio and Television, delighting audiences with his unique tenor voice, warm sense of humour and appealing musical style. Cantor Stephen Robins is now a freelance international Cantor and concert artist.


Stephen Glass (conductor/arranger)

Stephen’s connection with Cantor Robins has spanned 25 years as both accompanist and conductor. He was born in London, England, where he completed a Degree in Music from the University of East Anglia, and then continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London (specialising in composition and conducting) and the London College of Music. Now living in Montreal, Canada, he has earned a worldwide reputation in the Jewish Music field as conductor/ arranger/ accompanist/ composer par excellence. In 1991, he arranged the music for the Induction ceremony of Rabbi Dr Jonathan Sacks as the new British Chief Rabbi including the first piece on this recording, Ashrei. His quality arrangements were of particular interest to BBC Television, who asked him to direct the music for a special program on the music of the High Holy Days, which featured Cantor Robins. In 1995 Stephen conducted a large symphony orchestra and chorus in the world premiere of his oratorio ‘The Gate of Heaven’. He has also written music for the National Film Board of Canada, and composed and/or arranged all the music for Toronto’s Night of a Lifetime – an extravaganza in celebration of Israel’s 50th Anniversary. This included a special composition for the renowned cellist Ofra Harnoy and a new work for the Me’irim Dance Company. Stephen is currently the Director of Music at the prestigious Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, in Montreal, a position he has held since 1990.

The Choir

Stephen Glass’ choirs are recognised as having a unique sound – a remarkable blend, with singing arrangements that are refreshingly innovative, particularly in terms of the harmonies used and the voicing of the choral parts. It is widely recognised that the character of so much of Stephen’s compositions and arrangements which have been so widely acclaimed are perfectly suited to the lyrical quality of Cantor Robins’ voice. Cantor Robins, the International Male choir and its Conductor Stephen Glass, have appeared in concert on both sides of the Atlantic and are currently planning further concert tours.

The Stephen Glass Singers

Edward Aronson Jonathan Wiesbart
Jonah Hister Marc Temerlies
Adam Cohen Daniel Goldman
Philip Maurice Barry Weinberg
Moshe Caplan Jason Green
Adam Musikant Neil Davis
Executive Producer - Joanne Fellerman.
Recording Engineer - Toby Wood
Mastering - Martin Giles
Recorded at CTS Studios Wembley, England.
Special thanks to Borehamwood and Wembley Synagogues for the use of their premises.