||The new freedom ushered in by emancipation of the Jews in the countries in which they lived led to new experiments with the Synagogue service. Sulzer found a way to merge the many different elements that were pulling the music of the Synagogue in different directions: the free semi- oriental chant, the strict metered music, the responsive nature of part of the liturgy, forms and technique of western music, and the Cantor and the choir. He introduced musical themes for the whole service sung by the choir to unite the many short recitatives. He balanced well the Cantor and choir so it made liturgical sense and was tastefully arranged.
Even as he introduced mostly central European music, he kept the old offices and architecture of the service, and at times presented masterpieces combining the old chant with modern musical settings.
He was a consummate singer, a very fine composer, a true leader and a model to many Cantors since. Many of his compositions remain the staples of service today, among Orthodox, Conservative, and Reform Congregations alike. Worship and music, old and new merged well under his wise and talented guide.
Tzvi Taub. From the book: Kol Nidrei, Synagogue Music for the Beginning Pianist.
© Koltor Corp. 1995