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Praise to the Living God (Six Liturgical Pieces, No. 1)

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (07/15/16)
Composer: Freed, Isadore
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Modern
Isadore Freed (March 26, 1900 – November 10, 1960) was of Belarusian birth. Born in Brest-Litovsk, now Brest, Belarus, Freed's family emigrated to the United States when Freed was three years old and settled in Philadelphia, where his father owned a music store. Freed began playing piano at age seven, and began composing at age nine. His formal music education was at the University of Pennsylvania, where he earned a bachelor's degree at the age of 18. After graduation went to Berlin where he briefly studied piano with Josef Weiss, and then to Paris where he studied composition with Ernst Bloch, Nadia Boulanger, Louis Vierne and Vincent d'Indy. He also studied piano with Józef Hofmann and George Bayle, and organ with Rollo Maitland.

Freed returned to the United States in 1934, and shortly after he was employed by the composition department at Temple University from the mid-1930s until the mid-1940s. In 1944, Freed was named head of the composition department at the Hartt School of Music where he taught in various capacities until his death in 1960. In 1951 he was also hired as Harmony instructor at the Hebrew Union School of Sacred Music.

He was also active as a synagogue musician, acting as organist and choirmaster at Temple Keneseth Israel in Philadelphia.

"Six Liturgical Pieces" were published in 1952 by Transcontinental Music and are significant works for the synagogue or concert hall.

The first, "Praise to the Living God," is a chorale prelude based upon the well-known "Yigdal" melody, which most of know as the hymn "Leoni". It is a grand arch, and is well-worth looking at if you are looking for something "new" to play on a recital.

Over the next week, I plan to upload the other 5 pieces as well.

The score is attached below as well as photo of Isadore Freed, and the synagogue (new building) were he served as organist.

I dedicate this to Isabelle Ganz, now departed, who taught me much about understanding the Jewish liturgical modes.
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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