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Shabbat – Hebrew Songs
Waltraud Rennebaum & Ensemble SHOSHAN
Two current reviews
The Ensemble Shoshan has focussed on Hebrew music. It attracted great attention of the specialized press by its album "Ma'alot, The Songs of Ascents" which has been published by Hänssler Classic. The new recital compiles some of the most charming melodies of the Jewish Shabbat liturgy, all of them arranged by Ray Rennebaum... The result is a quite delightful combination of classical European chamber music and Jewish folklore... Shoshan performs the pieces with great expertise and musical passion. By her pleasant warm timbered mezzosoprano, Waltraud Rennebaum creates an unaffected heartfelt tone, finding that "second naivety" which authenticates the inflection and the meaning of the songs. The instrumentalists however are also challenged in terms of virtuosity. Particulary flutist Heike Zehe and guest clarinetist Florent Héau are stepping forward in an effective way.
Ekkehard Pluta, Klassik-Heute.com, March 5, 2015
The CD "Shabbat" of the Ensemble Shoshan replies in a wise and appealing manner to a question that is regrettably too seldom asked: What is Jewish music? Without doubt, you can include the music for the synagogue services as well as the holiday singings that are published on this CD. The musicians are here reflecting a long tradition: the songs which in many phrases reveal their oriental origin are elegantly wrapped in varied arrangements for 'occidental' instruments. Thereby these interpretations indicate by means of music the spiritual cultural places of those Jews who are or were resident in Europe. In a congenial manner, vocalist Waltraud Rennebaum finds the exactly appropriate tone: sensitive but without pathos, with a warm voice trained in European tradition, always remaining light enough to unfold the charm of these melodies. Careful recordings and an informative booklet round out the publication.
Thomas Beimel, composer and music journalist, Februray 4, 2015
Shabbat – the CD album

Shabbat – the songbook

The meaning of Shabbat

More press comments

CD cover picture for download

Detailed track notes

audio samples, lyrics & paintings

Shoshan concert programs

Waltraud with tambourine and candles

CD Shabbat (Hebrew Songs)
CD-No. Sho-049

audio sample Shabbat medley
Shabbat medley for prelistening (8:56)

artist's photos: Julia Bruns
The most beautiful songs for Shabbat and Jewish holidays

– Concert songs –

CD No. Sho-049
songbook Nr. Sho-0049

discount offers
for private customers:
• 1 CD 17,95 €
• 2 CDs only 16,95 €/piece
• from 3 CDs only 14,95 €/piece
• CD & songbook set 29,95 €
songbook 12,95 €

score editions
with parts available on request

phone ++49-2174-63920

contact and ordering form
Waltraud's new album is devoted to an unusual subject: a special selection of the most beautiful melodies of the Jewish Shabbat liturgy. The artist sings all lyrics in Hebrew. The poetic texts originate from the Bible and the Siddur, Israel's traditional prayerbook. On the one hand the music is full of infectious vitality and rhythmical power, on the other hand especially those quiet, gentle and intimate songs sound like prayers and awaken a longing for God and the Holy Land. Waltraud says: "The work on the CD fascinated me! Every piece is different in character; tunes of the Ashkenazim, Sephardim, Hasidim and the West European music tradition are meeting. Again and again new horizons are opening up regarding instrumentation, rhythm and harmony; this was exciting and challenging. In addition to piano, flute, tenor, cello and percussion, I first brought a clarinet into the ensemble, an instrument which is very characteristic for Jewish music and provides an enchanting supplementary tone colour. I could gain one of the leading French clarinet players for this recording: Florent Héau from Paris. I got the feeling that this is our loveliest and also most important album."
Besides numerous Shabbat songs, the repertoire contains three songs for Jewish Holidays, for Pessach (Passover) and Rosh ha Shannah, the Jewish New Year. In addition to popular traditionals, less familiar oriental-appearing tunes and two new compositions from own writing can be heard. Pianist and arranger Ray Rennebaum transformed the 15 songs into sophisticated concert pieces. Whoever believes to know one or the other work, will be surprised how new and different it sounds here.
The CD appears in a noble digipack design with al lot of artist's photos, 28-page coloured booklet including lyrics in Ivrit, Hebrew phonetics, German and English, background informations to each song and many pictures and impressions from Israel.
Waltraud Rennebaum mezzosoprano
Ray Rennebaum piano, arrangements
Florent Héau clarinet
Heike Zehe flute
Andreas Post tenor
Anselm Schardt cello
Helmut Kandert percussion

total time: 62:24

© 2014 by shoshanim
Song titles:
cover of the songbook Shabbat

Songbook of the CD "Shabbat"
1 Baruch ata Adonai – Blessings over light, wine and bread on "Erev Shabbat" (Siddur)
2 Shabbat Shalom – Chanted greeting of peace on Shabbat (Psalm 17:8; Siddur)
3 Shalom aleichem – Traditional song for welcoming the angels, after lighting the candles
4 Yismechu ha Shamayim – Let the heavens rejoice (Psalm 96)
5 Lecha Dodi – Welcoming song for Shabbat as bride
6 Ba Yom ha Shvii – Song about the creation of the Shabbat (Exodus 20:11; 31:17))
7 Tzur Mishelo – Liturgical hymn of praise and thanksgiving; two different tunes
8 Halleluyah betziltzelei shama – Praise God with sounding cymbals (Psalm 150)
9 Ve taher Libenu – Purify our hearts, Shabbat prayer from the "Tefilat ha Amidah"
10 Osseh Shalom – Shabbat prayer for peace, from the "Tefilat ha Amidah"
11 Eliyahu ha Navi – The prophet Elijah may soon come, from the "Pessach-Haggada"
12 Ha Mavdil – Hymn for Havdala ceremony at the close of Shabbat, two different tunes
13 Avinu Malkeinu – Petitionary chant on the days of repentance (Rosh ha Shannah)
14 Karev Yom – Aramaic hymn for Pessach (Zechariah 14:7.9)
15 Erev shel Shoshanim – Evening of the lilies, poem inspired by the "Song of Solomon"
SHOSHAN - (Hebrew) lily (acrylic painting by Erika Steinbeck)

"SHOSHAN" • acrylic painting by Erika Steinbeck
Shabbat songbook & scores
The CD is supplemented by an attractively designed songbook which is interesting for all those who wish to delve into music, text and background of the songs. Some of the well known melodies have been extended by new sections; occasionally two different tunes originating from Ashekanzic or Sephardic tradition have been combined. In addition to the sheet music with lyrics in Hebrew phonetics, the verses are printed in the original Hebrew notation and in German translation. Chord symbols for piano (or guitar & bass), two entirely notated piano settings (moderately difficult) and detailed expert introduction to the songs (in German language) make the edition a treasure chest for all lovers of Jewish sacred music.
The music book is enriched by the reproduction of the colourful picture cycle "the Shabbat in the creation" by the artist Erika Steinbeck. For one year she had been painting while listening to the CD recordings and so created 15 acrylic paintings that speak directly to the viewer by motif and colour. In the appendix of the coloured printed songbook you find a glossary with explanations of many terms of the Jewish tradition.
Those who like to play the pieces in the original settings or in special arrangements can purchase performance material. Each song is separately available in score edition with extracted parts. Besides the original arrangements of the CD, arrangements for trio or duo (voice and piano) can be delivered. Please contact us for more details.

The meaning of Shabbat
The day begins on Friday evening with sunset and ends on the following evening as soon as three stars appear in the sky. The Hebrew word "Shabbat" is composed of the letters shin-beit-tav and means to cease or to rest. This day is the heart of Judaism, it arises from God and is given the entire creation at the beginning of time, as it is written in the book of Genesis. The Bible testifies that God made heaven and earth and all that is in it in six days. But He rested on the seventh day from all His work and blessed and consecrated it. In comparison to the other weekdays which were simply numbered, this day has been given its own name – all that distinguishes the Sabbath. The American writer and rabbi Aryeh Moshe Kaplan (1934-1983) taught: "The mystery of the Sabbath is unity. On the Sabbath God created harmony between Himself and the universe. When man observes the Sabbath, he too partakes of God's eternity, he enters into a state of harmony with both God and the world. Man is then in a state of peace with all creation. This explains why the concept of peace (Shalom) is so important for every person. One of the most common Sabbath greetings is Shabbat Shalom, because the main idea of Sabbath is the wish for peace."
The lyrics of the Hebrew sung prayers are rich in poetic symbols and Jewish rite, they tell of bride and groom, candle light, delicious bred and sweet wine, the beguiling scent of flowering lilies, the longing for God, the restoration of all things and above of all the eternal peace (Shalom) for Jerusalem. Every Friday evening is opened by the traditional blessings each starting with the words "Baruch ata Adonai, Eloheinu, Melech ha Olam...". When you listen to Waltraud Rennebaum, tenor Andreas Post and clarinetist Florent Héau singing and playing the opening song composed by Waltraud herself, you may get goose bumps...
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Press comments

In line with the theme, the CD radiates tranquility. But also lively songs are not lacking. They make the Sabbath sound like a day of rejoicing. The singing corresponds sometimes smoothly, sometimes passionately. It becomes apparent how much the singer is identifying with this kind of music. (Elisabeth Hausen, media magazine "Pro", Germany, Dec. 2014)

"Shabbat" is a good introduction or a discovery of Jewish Central European (Ashkenazic) tradition... An informative and very well done booklet is enclosed to the CD. (Prof. Claus Friede, Kultur-Port.de, Febr. 2015)

On this album is resonating the soul of the Jewish people who are longing for the divine Shalom. A highly recommendable CD leading into the atmosphere of Shabbat par excellence! (Reinhold Tenk, Jewish journal "Kol Hesed", Germany, Dec. 2014)

... the Ensemble Shoshan enthused the audience of Leichlingen ... Tender contemplative lyrics and melodies alternated with dance-like sweeping celebratory songs ... Several traditional Jewish Sabath songs have adapted over the centuries the musical colours of the "host countries", e.g. Sephardic. Such details too got their place in the program. (Ursula Hellmann, "Westdeutsche Zeitung" (West German newspaper), Nov. 20, 2014)

download Shabbat-Coverbild Cover picture in print quality for download as JPEG file. The image is sized 6 by 6 cm at 300 ppi resolution.

Trackanmerkungen Shabbat Detailed track notes for (public) broadcasters and archives as PDF file for reading and printing with the Adobe Reader. The document is currently only written in German.

Audio samples and verses of each song

Cycle of paintings "The Shabbat in the creation" by Erika Steinbeck

painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 1st song 1 Baruch ata Adonai
Blessings over light, wine and bread at the beginning of Shabbat
A new well singable setting of the ancient blessings from the Siddur.
Hörprobe Baruch ata Adonai
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctifed us
through His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Shabbat candles.
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe,
who creates the fruit of the vine. Blessed are You, Lord our God,
King of the universe, who brings forth bread from the earth.
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 2nd song 2 Shabbat Shalom
Chanted greeting of peace on "Erev Shabbat"
Hörprobe Shabbat Shalom
Peace for you, a great calm came over me.
We will sing a praise song to you of rest, peace and blessing.
Freedom shall He proclaim for His sons and daughters
and will keep you as the apple of His eye.
Pleasant are your names to Him and will never be erased.
Repose and rest on the Sabbath day.
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painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 3rd song 3 Shalom aleichem
Traditional song for welcoming the angels
Hörprobe Shalom aleichem
Peace upon you, o ministering angels, messengers of the Exalted One,
of the King of Kings, of the Holy One – blessed be He.
Peace upon you, o ministering angels!
Enter for peace, o messengers of peace!
Bless me for peace, o ministering angels!
Move out for peace, o messengers of peace!
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 4th song 4 Yismechu ha Shamayim
Song for the receiving of Shabbat – adapted from Psalm 96
Hörprobe Yismechu ha Shamayim
Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice.
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before Him, all the earth!
Let the field exult and everything in it.
Tremble before Him, all the earth!
Let the sea roar and all that fills it.
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 5th song 5 Lecha Dodi
Welcoming song for Shabbat as bride, for "Kabbalat Shabbat"
Hörprobe Lecha Dodi
Shabbat Shalom, receive peace and be blessed!
Come my beloved to greet the bride,
in the face of Shabbat we will receive blessings.
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 6th song 6 Ba Yom ha Shvii
Song about the creation of the Shabbat (Exodus 20:11; 31:17)
Hörprobe Ba Yom ha Shvii
For in six days the LORD made heaven
and earth, the sea, and all that in them,
and rested the seventh day.
Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 7th song 7 Tzur mishelo
Liturgical hymn of praise and thanksgiving after meals on Shabbat (two different tunes)
Hörprobe Tzur mishelo
The LORD, our Rock, whose food we have eaten, let us bless Him. We are satiated
and there is still food left over – according to His promise. He nourishes His world,
our Shepherd, our Father. We have eaten His bread and drunk from His wine.
Therefore we will thank Him and speak His praise. We said and responded:
There is no one holy like our LORD.
Have mercy in Your graciousness upon Your nation, our Rock, and upon Zion,
the dwelling place of Your honour, the house of Your splendour.
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painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 8th song 8 Halleluyah betziltzelei shama
Psalm 150 • Joyful praise and thanksgiving song, for "Kabbalat Shabbat"
Hörprobe Halleluyah
• Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in the firmament of His power!
• Praise Him for His acts; praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
• Praise Him with the blaring horn, praise Him with psaltery and harp;
• praise Him with tambourine and dance, with strings and pipe!
• Praise Him with sounding cymbals, praise Him with loud clashing cymbals.
• Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Hallelujah!
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 9th song 9 Ve taher libenu
Liturgical Shabbat prayer from the "Tefilat ha Amida", the "Standing Prayer"
Hörprobe Ve taher libenu
And purify our hearts that we may serve You in truth;
give us, with love and with grace,
the inheritance of Your holy Shabbat,
so that all of Israel may rest in it and may sanctify Your name.
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 10th song 10 Osseh Shalom
Solemn prayer for peace from heaven, from the "Tefilat ha Amida"
Hörprobe Osseh Shalom
He who makes peace in high places,
he shall make peace upon us and upon all of Israel,
and let us say "Amen".
Make peace for us and upon all of Israel.
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 11th song 11 Eliyahu ha Navi
Liturgical song about the prophet Elijah, on Pessach and Shabbat
Hörprobe Eliyahu ha Navi
Elijah the prophet,
Elijah the Tishbite,
Elijah of Gilead,
may he soon come to us
with the Messiah, the son of David.
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 12th song 12 Ha Mavdil
Hymn for Havdala ceremony at the close of Shabbat (two different tunes)
Hörprobe Ha Mavdil
He who distinguishes between holy and profane, may He forgive our sins.
May He increase our descendants and our money like the sand and like the stars at night.
The day turns like the shadow of a date palm. I cry to God, who completes the day for me.
The watchman said: You are morning and night as well.
Additional verse of the 2nd tune:
The glory and longing of my heart is Elijah, the prophet
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 13th song 13 Avinu Malkeinu
Petitionary chant on the days of repentance between "Rosh haShana" and "Yom Kippur"
Hörprobe Avinu Malkeinu
Our Father, our King, be compassionate to us
and answer us, for we have no deeds,
give us favour and grace. Grant us charity and benevolence
and redeem us.
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painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 14th song 14 Karev Yom
Aramaic-Hasidic hymn for Pessach, adapted from verses of the prophet Zechariah
Hörprobe Karev Yom
And there shall be one day which shall be known as the LORD's, not day, and not night.
But it shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be light.
And the LORD will be King over all the earth.
On that day the Lord will be One,
and His name One.
painting by Erika Steinbeck to the 15th song 15 Erev shel Shoshanim
Love poem inspired by the "Song of Songs" of King Solomon
Hörprobe Erev shel Shoshanim
Evening of lilies, we go out to the garden,
myrrh, fragrance and frankincense are a threshold to your foot.
The night comes, aroma of lilies blows.
Come, I whisper a song for you, secretly and out of love.
Dawn, a dove is cooing, your head drops of dew,
your mouth is like a lily at the morning, I want to pick it for me.

Concert programs of the Ensemble SHOSHAN
The Ensemble SHOSHAN designs concert programs according to the CD repertoire. The previous themes TEHILIM (the world of Psalms), Yerushalayim (songs of the Bible & Israeli traditionals) and MA'ALOT (the Psalms of Ascent sung in Hebrew) are extended by the new topic SHABBAT (the discovery of heavenly peace). In duo or trio formation, SHOSHAN presents its current album live in concert or as a workshop or by accompanying a conference. If desired, the picture cycle "Ha Shabbat baBriah – the Shabbat in the creation" is projected on a screen as an illustration to the songs. Interested concert organizers (from churches, synagogues, conference locations) are requested to contact us with regard to the concert season 2016 to 2018.
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All contents, images, texts, music, video and graphic files are protected by copyright. Without the author's prior written consent they may not – neither completely nor partly – be copied, modified, multiplied or published. You are explicitly permitted to download PDF files and CD cover pictures which are provided on this website.
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