February 26, 2008 4 min read

The following was translated and used with permission from Shlager.net. Is it a interview with Chassidic Superstar AVRAHAM FRIED about a new project he has undertaken. So please enjoy and let us know what you think.

When the Chassidic musical giant Avraham Fried comes out with a new project, it is a always interesting and exciting. We all remember his special projects (Yiddish Gems, Around the Year, Chazak, Brocho V’hatzlocho etc.) , and all of his Chassidishe Chabad niggunim that entered the hearts of even those who are not Chassidim of Chabad and his wedding nigunim in all parts of the Jewish World. All this can be understood by the mehadridega voice quality of Fried and his earth shattering performances.

A year ago a new idea was born to Fried, to record an album of Shabbos songs sang at his father HaRav Yaakov Moshe Friedman a”h. This unique project is being recorded by Fried with his brothers, children, and his nephews in order to keep the family atmosphere special.
We went to meet him in his house in the neighbourhood of Crown Heights, where he lives with his family and we discovered that Fried has (either no doubts or big doubts not sure) to put the album on the market in spite of the powerful studios? mixes by Eli Lishinsky and more. Fried gives you through Shlager.net the responsibility to rank a song from his album here for you to listen to.

S: Which song in particular do you remember from your family’s shabbos table?

AF: L’Ma’aseh, every song is special here. We recorded 12 songs that we had from our father. If you are asking a bout a specific song, then the song “Maoz Tzur”, reminds me of Chanuka from my childhood. But like I said every song comes with memories.

S: Who worked on the album?

AF: My brothers and I worked together on the album. It all started about a year ago. In our family there are lots of grandchildren, ken yirbu, and they aren’t familiar with the songs that their grandfather used to sing at the Shabbos table. Those minutes were so special and not to be forgotten.
We decided to go to the studio and we began to record, my brothers, nephews, and I, all of whom are found in New York, so that the coming generation would become familiar with these niggunim.
After every trip to the studio we expressed doubts that the music alone came out dry and so we began to build the רמוניות here and there.
Again it still was missing that something special, so we added a touch of solos. B’Kitzur so went the album at the end of it, after a lot of work just like you will hear….

S: And what is the source for them?

AF: The source: most of them are really Bobover songs. My grandfather took from the Bobover niggunim and dressed them in Shabbos Zemiros.
for example, there is a niggun that we sing the words ברוך קל עליון but the Bobover Chassidim sing the words קל אדון to the very same niggun. There is another one כל מקדש whose original source is “שיר המעלות אשא עיני אל ההרים”. The Bobover Chassidim had many familiar songs but with other words. By the way we also recorded the famous Bobover song “י-ה ריבון”. The lubavitcher niggunim (Hup Cossack, Niggun of the Ba’al Shem Tov, and Avinu Malkeinu) that were turned into a Klal inheritance, that today all of the jewish world sings regardless of who they are(Ashkenaz, Lubavitch, Chassidish, Sephardic), shows great success. Are you worried that your special family songs will be accepted in the same way and suddenly become part of the Klal’s inheritance?

If we decide to put this on the market in the end this question does not worry us at all. Why shouldn’t the Klal have more Shabbos songs to sing in their homes?!?! Aderaba!

S: What happened suddenly after all of these years that made you decide to take this out?

AF: This we have still not yet decided. But in my opinion there was a lot of good work here and then a little desire to bring t out….

S: The album is all vocal with no instruments whatsoever is that connected to Sefiras Ha’Omer? Or did you simply want to keep it a Shabbos table atmosphere?

AF: This album is not at all connected to Sefira. The reason that there is no music is so that it will be as close as possible to the performance in our home.

S: sDo you have any doubts as to how thus will be received, after all these songs are not regular without music?

AF: We did this for our family that Baruch Hashem is growing and getting bigger…. we reached our goal. I turn to the listeners and Shlager.net and thejemagazine.com to help me after listening to it here and to write honestly what they think. To put it out or not? And I thank them for this ahead of time.


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