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Inspiring Voice Reviews Big Time – Alter Heim

This is an exciting wedding album produced by Sheya Mendlowitz and arranged by Suki Berry. Music was played by the Freilach Orchestra with clarinet solos by Chilik Frank. It is not your typical wedding album. The theme is to bridge the gap between the “Alter Heim” and the music of today. Suki is a master of collections from all sources across the Jewish music spectrum and he shines with some original combinations. The singers are the Mezamrim choir and  the Moishy Kraus boys choir along with solos from MBD, Lipa Schmeltzer, Dovid Gabay, Shloime Gertner, and Shalom Jacobs.

The opening medley starts with Od Yishoma – the famous one and it reminded me of Suki with a Touch of Ding from the 70’s and then I realized it was because it had the clarinet solo – this time by Chilik Frank –  not Yehuda Spinner. It then continues with a combination of old and recent Chassidishe nigunim and contemporary yeshivishe compositions. My defining moment of the album is when the Mezamrim sing Boruch Levine’s Ovinu Malkeinu Galei – as Uvini Malkeini Galei and the next time around the kids sing it regular and then they sing together with both accents. This symbolizes how even in today’s times we can still find aidele niginim. To quote Suki on the album cover: “Yes, our song bursts forth with a renewal, vibrant and youthful spirit, yet we strive to remain firmly rooted in the secure and age old footsteps of our legacy.”

The hit from the album is Anah Avda sung by Dovid Gabay. It is very hard for me to describe the style from the song. This might be the genius of the “Berry Bunch” . It has a modern flavor with power and is sung with the Sephardishe accent, but I can’t help but feel a haimishe taam with the song.

There are several chupa songs with different flavors: featuring MBD singing his Mame Ruchel from his double album as Mi Adir wth a Yiddish high part composd by Lipa and Shloime Gertner singing B’ein Malitz Yosher from his native London Pirchei.

The rest of the album features marches, a slow Yiddish song  by Lipa, and the closing medley again featuring a combination of different styles: Yeshivish, Chabad, Satmar, MBD, Moshe Laufer, and Seret Vizhnitz.

The last 2 songs seem to be like a “Suki signature” because they were both on Suki and a touch of Ding – Chaim Shtehay on Volume 2 and Vosik on Volume 1. The reason I think this way because he tends to do that on previous albums he arranged. For example signing off with the intro. to MBD’s Vechol Maaminim  or ” a gantz yur freilich” . The most recent one was on the first Shira Chadasha Boy’s Choir on the last song – Kol Mi.

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