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Sounds of Emancipation: Politics, Identity, and Music in 19th-century Italian Synagogues.

Prologue: A Musical Fragment

Years ago, while researching the archival sound recordings that the Italian- Israeli ethnomusicologist Leo Levi (1912-1982) made as part of his original efforts to document Italy's Jewish musical memory, (1) I came across a short fragment (61 seconds in all) sung in Hebrew, with the undecipherable incipit nal nav cal. It immediately stood out as a unique representative of a musical repertoire of its own. The recording had been made in a studio of the RAI (Italian National Radio) headquarters of Turin on February 28, 1954, and the informant was Alessandro Segre of Casale Monferrato. (2) A note, spoken by Levi himself in Italian at the beginning of the track, stated: "Inno per l'indipendenza italiana, composto in modo speciale in Piemonte nel 1858" ("Hymn for Italian independence especially composed in Piedmont in 1858").

As I listened to this brief recording many times over, I struggled to decipher its text, and attempted to identify its melodic structure. The text was not part of the normative liturgy, and I could not refer to any prayer book to determine its lyrics. The performance followed a regional variant of the Italian pronunciation of Hebrew, which the informant pronounced with a heavy Piedmontese accent (Artom, "Miftah ha'ivrit"; "La pronuncia dell'ebraico"; "Leheqer dibburam"). In transliterating the Hebrew text, I tried to ascertain each word. It proved a daunting task as the pronunciation did not conform to the usual standards, and the phonetics of the informant made lexical identification outright impossible at times:
   [nal nav cal] ba-shamayyim [abitu] /malak[h] hesed ia'uf
   [licradenu] ka-baraq yarutz orah [inenu] / [nomed] sham el ragle
   [earim] [nanve] eretz ba-shefel yeshevu / el qolo [menafar
   idnoreru] mi-yado va-hayyim [icadevu] / ezrahim [nal lukhod
   akhorim] [tzidcod] el [amoshian] saperu / [h]a-yom pesah lakhem
   [anivrim] [tzidcod] el [amoshian] saperu / [h]a-yom pesah lakhem

This type of transliteration--which provides readers with the rare opportunity of imagining the "sound" of Piedmontese Hebrew, and thus to appreciate the extent of Italian Jewish regional traits--would eventually prove itself helpful in allowing a singer to recite the text anew, should the occasion arise. (A version of this hymn, with a reconstructed instrumental accompaniment, was performed by the chorus of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York City in 2004.) What immediately became clear was that the text followed, as customary in Hebrew poetry from Italy, Italian metric canons (Carmi 52-57). However, it was impossible to leverage it towards fully identifying the corresponding Hebrew text, and thus ascertaining its complete meaning. The hymn seemingly spoke of heavens (shamayim), angels of mercy (malakh hesed) and lightning (baraq), of land (eretz), citizens and citizenship (ezrahim), and Passover (pesah), but its general sense was as fragmentary as the sound recording itself.

I felt a bit more certain about the music. Both listening to the recording and transcribing it in musical notes yielded a familiar soundscape (see Table 1 at the end of essay).

Once reconstructed from the failing memory and trembling voice of the informant, the melody sounded unmistakably like a Risorgimento march tune. At this point, Leo Levi's general assessment of the piece (a "hymn for Italian independence") seemed to be appropriate. Predictable in both rhythmic and melodic structures, it was easy to determine that the music of this mysterious Hebrew hymn squarely belonged in the paramilitary repertoire of 19th-century political anthems, a repertoire until recently despised by mainstream Italian culture, perhaps because it was believed to have foreshadowed the soundscapes of Italian Fascism (Monterosso; Sachs). (3) Notwithstanding the awkward Hebrew of the text, my listening experience was immediately informed by the close kinship between the hymn and Italy's own national anthem, "Il canto degli italiani," or the "The Song of the Italians." Better known as "Inno di Mameli" or by its incipit as "Fratelli d'Italia," the anthem had been composed in Turin in 1847 by Michele Novaro (1818-1885), on the lyrics by Goffredo Mameli (1827-1849). The nascent Italian Republic provisionally adopted it as its national anthem almost a century later in 1946. Like its Hebrew counterpart, the lyrics of "Inno di Mameli" are also complex and somewhat obscure to contemporary readers. Most Italians are familiar with its opening verses (this translation, along with all the following ones, is mine):
   Fratelli d'Italia,
   L'Italia s'e desta
   Dell'elmo di Scipio
   S'e cinta la testa.
   Dov'e la vittoria?
   Le porga la chioma
   Che schiava di Roma
   Iddio la creo.

   (Brothers of Italy, Italy has awakened and bound herself with
   Scipio's helmet. Where is Victory? Let Victory lend her its hair
   for God created it a slave of Rome.)

While the two poems do not coincide from a metric standpoint--an anapestic decasyllable in the Hebrew hymn, and an amphi-brachic hexasyllable in the Italian anthem--their respective melodies immediately appeared to be closely related to one another in structural terms. A comparative musical transcription of the opening phrases demonstrates this affinity (Table 2).

This mix of familiarity and mystery, which had started with a minute-long archival recording from long ago--out of a collection comprising close to fifty hours and over one thousand recorded items--sent me down an unexpected research path. What I did not know at the time was that this research would result in uncovering long-forgotten sounds, revolutionary texts in Hebrew and Italian, and a micro-history of Jewish Piedmont at the time its ghettos were being dismantled.

The short Hebrew hymn recorded by Leo Levi provides a paradigmatic case study in Italian Jewish music, as its performance is related to a wealth of oral, written, and literary sources documenting Italian synagogue life. It reveals an intimate aspect of the history of Italian cultural life, as represented by one of its most rooted minorities, that can only be elucidated by a multidisciplinary approach combining ethnomusicology, historical musicology, archival research, and cultural history, with Jewish and Italian studies, as Adler has suggested ("La Musique juive" 87-88).

More broadly, this research also sheds light on a concerted attempt to forge, along with Italy's own national and Jewish identities, a new repertoire of synagogue song created in unison by Jewish and non-Jewish Italian intellectuals and musicians. Through this new musical corpus, history, politics, and theology all found pride of place. In turn, this soundscape helps paint a picture of the emancipation of the Jews of Italy that is set in stark contrast with the widespread "assimilationist" interpretations it has garnered among historians (Luzzatto Voghera 13-21). Instead, it frames the emancipation as a wide-ranging project, in which the synagogue and its sounds became a new arena of intercultural encounter.

Music and Italian Jewish Cultural Identity

What became immediately clear, on the basis of a contextual study of Leo Levi's fieldwork and research interests in Italian Jewish musical traditions, was that somehow this unidentified fragment was part of the larger history of synagogue song in Italy. The expression "Italian Jewish musical traditions" refers to a vast musical corpus consisting of numerous distinct liturgical and paraliturgical traditions of various origins, continuously in contact with a broad range of influxes and in constant evolution over a long period of time, which developed in the many Jewish communities of the Italian peninsula and the areas where Jews who had lived in Italy for a long time decided to reside. This complex and fascinating musical world, documented in written and oral sources, still remains today one of the widest uncharted areas of Jewish music. As a subcultural manifestation of Italian musical culture, characterized by defined national and regional traits, the Jewish musical traditions that developed on Italian soil constitute a fascinating example of what Mark Slobin calls "micromusics of the West," or "small music" that are enveloped in larger and more established musical systems (Slobin xiii).

The musical history of the Italian Jewish communities is long, fascinating, and rife with contradictions. In punctuating all major aspects of Jewish life, from personal and family rituals to the public sphere, music is a crucial indicator of cultural identity across time and space. The earliest known written Jewish musical documents tout-court originate from Italy (Adler, Hebrew; Spagnolo, "Scritto in italiano"), and the Italian peninsula is the prime site of a multicultural Jewish musical encounter that began taking shape in the early modern period. Over the span of several centuries, this encounter produced an unprecedented interaction between distinct Italian, Ashkenazi, rights and Sephardic traditions of synagogue song and Italian music, with its innumerable cultural, regional and linguistic differences.

As a prime indicator of cultural identity, synagogue music thus embodies the countless visible and invisible identities of the Jews of Italy. By examining the Jewish soundscape--the combination of performance styles, genres and repertoires, as well as the characteristics of musical events taking place in the synagogues--we can thus gain a broader understanding of Italian Jewish life as a whole and see how Jews have attempted to represent themselves in their own communities and within Italian society at large. Although confined to a closely delimited aspect of social interaction (the synagogue and the Jewish home), Italian Jewish liturgical traditions do not constitute a closed musical world. On the contrary, they are in constant rapport with other musical expressions, including music specifically composed for the synagogue, non-Jewish liturgical music, and a variety of non-Jewish popular and art music forms. Moreover, by virtue of its central position in worship and in life cycle celebrations, liturgical music inevitably encounters, reflects, and influences a wide variety of non-musical aspects of Jewish life. As a key component of traditional Jewish lore--centered on the public recitation of the Hebrew Bible and of the texts included in the liturgy and in the paraliturgical celebration of life-cycle events (births, circumcisions, weddings, death)--music is an important indicator of the elements of continuity that inform social and cultural change. By paying close attention to the dynamic relationship between sounds and traditional Jewish texts, we can thus attempt to identify how Jewish individuals, families, and communities have related (and continue to relate) to their personal and collective past, and at the same time how they have coped with the challenges presented by Italian society and modern life.

Heard across time and space, Italian Jewish music can therefore be understood as a portal into the daily life of the ghettos, as well as a cultural marker of the configuration of the many local and regional Jewish identities that have developed and evolved within Italy itself as Jews entered its society at full title in the 19th century. At the same time, by at once marking and bridging the distance between the liturgy of the church and that of the synagogue, music also reflects the very public and highly politicized conflicts and hidden consonances between Judaism and Christianity. Inside the synagogue, music has thus reflected the unique cultural symbiosis between Jews and Italy that gained universal musical prominence through the notes of Giuseppe Verdi's Nabucco (1842).

From the Ghetto Into the Synagogue: The Advent of Musica Sacra

Beginning in the late 18th century, with the emancipatory changes brought about by the Napoleonic conquests in northern Italy, Jewish life in Italy underwent dramatic changes. The long process of emancipation, engineered by the House of Savoy, culminated in the Statuto Albertino, a constitution promulgated by Charles Albert of Savoy (1798-1849), King of Sardinia, on March 4, 1848. In its ensuing Letters patent, the law granted full civil and political rights to all Jewish residents of the Kingdom, and abolished the ghettos (March 29, 1848). The process continued well into the 19th century, with the opening of the Roman ghetto following the breach of Porta Pia (September 20, 1870), and extended civil rights to all Jews across the Peninsula.

These events, which effectively put an end to the Age of the Ghettos, were amply reflected in various aspects of Jewish musical production (Seroussi, "Singing Modernity" 165-166). The full participation of Jews in Italy's social, professional, intellectual, and political life had dramatic consequences on the framework of traditional Jewish life. The general process of urbanization that began in Italy at this time also prompted the relocation of Jews from small centers and ancient communities into large cities and modern communities. These processes had a particular impact on the life of the Italian synagogue. As traditions were progressively abandoned in the Jewish home, and the urban areas that once had housed the Jewish ghettos were either abandoned, renovated, or simply no longer perceived as an environment still suited to Jewish life, the synagogue increasingly became the main focus of Jewish life. Such changes brought about the transformation of old rituals and the creation of new ones that could accommodate the needs and wants of a newly emancipated population. The transition from the "old" to the "new" was emphasized by a dramatic increase in musical composition for the synagogue. By the mid-19th century--a time in which German Jewish intellectuals were engaged in defining the very notion of "Jewish music" (Bohlman, "Inventing Jewish Music")--a "new genre" of Jewish musical composition emerged across Italy: that of musica sacra.

The expression musica sacra was probably coined in Piedmont, where it appeared in the Jewish press as early as the 1850s. It can be found in the titles of several collections of synagogue songs of this period. Among these are Pezzi vari [di] Musica Sacra, for Tenor and Bass, by composers Bonajut Treves (1796 or 1818-1883) and Ezechiello Levi (1826-1889) of Vercelli (NLI Mus. Coll. Vercelli 110); Canto sacro Ebaico [sic] composto e dedicato dal Maestro Smolz al molto illustre Signore Salvatore Benedetto Artom (NLI Mus. Coll. Casale 9a); and the Canti Sacri della Comunita Israelitica di Alessandria collected by Cantor Marco Amar in 1892 (NLI Coll. Mus. Alessandria nos. 1-2). (4)

Broadly speaking, musica sacra generally referred to a whole new body of recently written compositions for soloists and choirs with instrumental accompaniment that were inserted into preexisting rituals by means of juxtaposition. Musical composition did not completely take over the liturgy. Instead, it became a recurrent "novelty item" featured alongside traditional, and monophonic, synagogue song.

Such innovations certainly did not go unnoticed. A heated debate took place, finding an ideal forum in the Jewish press of the time. The monthly journals published since 1845 in various Italian communities present us with a wealth of musical information and offer the vivid image of a thriving synagogue life (Spagnolo, "La stampa periodica"). In the pages of La rivista israelitica (from now on, RI; Parma, 1845-1847), L'educatore israelita (EI; Vercelli, 1853-1874), Corriere israelitico (CI; Trieste, 1862-1914), Il vessillo israelitico (VI; Casale Monferrato, 1874-1922), and others, rabbis and lay community leaders posed pointed questions and offered provocative solutions. Should they reformulate the old rituals, and find a middle ground between tradition and innovation? Would the new sound of music composed for the synagogue help to replace the music of the ghettos, or at least allow it to be re-shaped into a repertoire less permeated by the humiliating memories of past persecution? How did the non-Jews who regularly attended services in the newly built, or renovated, synagogues (Lerner) react to Jewish rituals? Could women, and their voices, find a role in this new liturgical world? Did all this innovation imply renouncing the richness of Italy's many local Jewish customs, and the heritage of the Renaissance that came with them? Finally, would this new music succeed in attracting Jews back into synagogues, now that society at large held a greater appeal than traditional Jewish life?

And yet, not all liturgy was revised. The same news reports also tell us which new compositions were introduced, and by whom, where and when. By contrast, they also inform us about what remained unchanged. An enlightening report from Turin, published in a Jewish periodical in 1882, relates how the writer, "armed" with a pocket watch, timed the newly reorganized liturgy, noting that it ran noticeably longer than it previously had, in spite of the reformers' lament that traditional services were too long and unattractive (Mose [1882]: 56-57).

Not everyone agreed with the modifications of the ritual, and a sort of "liturgical revival" soon developed countrywide. Old melodies were collected and local customs raised ethnographic interest. The collection of Livornese synagogue tunes, published by Federico Consolo in 1892 and known to Jewish music scholars as the primary if not only source about Italy's Jewish musical traditions (Idelsohn), was not an isolated endeavor. Traditional tunes were thus preserved, along with the creation of newer ones. Moreover, each community continued to develop its own music, thus fostering the sense of local identity that characterized Italian Jewry through history. Thanks to the mid-to-late 19th century rediscovery of older sources, and the subsequent process of re- converting polyphonic compositions into orally transmitted monophonic tunes, the double standards of those times still echo in the field recordings made by Leo Levi, as well as in the Italian synagogue music of today.

Taken as a whole, written musical sources reveal how 19th-century synagogue life gave place to what could be termed a "liturgical compromise," or a ritual agenda that encompassed both preservation and innovation. According to this unexpressed covenant, certain ritual occasions (typically the Sabbath and the High Holy Days) remained devoted to the preservation of older, orally transmitted repertoires, while others (especially the Festivals and the Sabbath celebrations associated with them) became the locus of musical innovation. With few exceptions, all extant choral musical compositions written since the beginning of the 19th century are in fact settings of liturgical texts related to the festivals of Passover, Sukkoth and Shavuot. The remaining ones are original compositions for new rituals. Among these were the marking of political occasions, inter- faith gatherings, and the advent of the Bat Mitzvah for girls on the model of the Bar Mitzvah for boys. Pioneered by the communities of Modena in 1844 or 1845 and Verona in 1846, soon followed by almost all other major Italian congregations, these newly crafted religious confirmation celebrations took place in the synagogue and marked the opening of the male space of worship to the female voice (see Archives Israelites 5 [1844]: 343; RI 1.2 [1845]: 136, and 1.10 [1847]: 620-23; and EI 11 [1863]: 167).

The innovative impetus that characterized Italian Jewish synagogue music throughout the Emancipation all but vanished beginning in the 1920s, and especially after the Second World War. Most 19th-century musical innovations were progressively removed from the ritual, and the newly composed repertoires of musica sacra either disappeared or were transformed in melodies that could be performed by one voice, in a monodic style that was perceived to be more "traditional."


Our knowledge of Italian Jewish musical life in modern times derives from the combined consideration of an array of oral, written, and literary sources.

Oral sources, constituted by archival recordings and the lore of living culture bearers (often, but not exclusively, professional synagogue cantors and rabbis), document the development of local oral traditions of liturgical and paraliturgical song in the many Jewish communities scattered throughout the Italian peninsula. Jewish communities, and at times individual families, kept these traditions alive with a varying degree of accuracy by each community (or family), transmitting into the present the ritual diversity that had characterized Italian Jewry throughout the modern period. Several local variants of historical Italian, Ashkenazi, Sephardic and French liturgical customs (minhagim, plural of the Hebrew, minhag, literally, "conduct") remained in the oral tradition, but progressively disappeared over time, either because the communities that maintained them vanished due to urbanization, assimilation, or persecution, or because originally distinct traditions merged with one another, creating new musical and liturgical hybrids. The degree to which oral traditions disappeared between the 19th and 20th centuries is staggering. A statistical survey from 1865-1866 attested to the existence of one hundred and eight synagogues or other places of worship located in sixty-six different Italian centers (F. Servi, EI XIII/1865: 364-366 and XIV/1866: 363-364). By the end of the 20th century, only a handful of Jewish communities maintained an independent oral tradition and even fewer continued to have distinct Italian, Sephardic or Ashkenazi liturgical traditions.

The field recordings made during the 1950s by Leo Levi and preserved at Rome's Accademia di Santa Cecilia and Jerusalem's National Sound Archives of the National Library of Israel (NLI), make possible the reconstruction of a fragmentary soundscape. The recordings include musical testimonies from twenty-seven distinct liturgical traditions, preserved in the Jewish communities of twenty-four Italian locations, many of which were already extinct at the time the recordings were made. Regardless of their number, these oral sources are invaluable, as they convey a first-hand account of actual Italian Jewish musical life. With the corroboration of written sources, they can help to pinpoint the repertoires and performance styles in the synagogue and Jewish homes, and thus constitute a primary evidence of Jewish daily life in Italy in modern times.

Manuscript and printed sources documenting Jewish music in Italy between the 16th and 18th centuries are relatively rare (Adler, Hebrew). They include both original liturgical compositions, among which are the settings of Hebrew texts by Salamone Rossi, Hashirim asher li-shlomoh (Venice, 1622-23), as well as transcriptions of synagogue songs from the oral tradition, such as Benedetto Marcello's in Estro poetico-armonico (Venice, 1724-27). Beginning with the first decades of the 19th century, however, musical production increased dramatically, and by mid-century virtually each Italian congregation commissioned, collected, and preserved in its archives tens of new polyphonic compositions specifically devoted to synagogue worship. Additionally, since the 1880s, individual musicians and researchers began transcribing synagogue melodies, leaving them in manuscript form. Among these were Marco Amar in Alessandria (see his Raccolta di Cantici tradizionali della Comunita Israelitica di Alessandria, 1892, Ms. NLI Coll. Mus. Alessandria nos. 1-2; also in a ms. copy dated 1926, titled Canti Sacri della Comunita Israelitica di Alessandria, at Archivio Terracini, Turin); Davide Ghiron in Casale Monferrato (see VI LIX/1911: 351-353); and Amadio Disegni in Rome (see VI LXVI/1918: 39-40). Some musical transcriptions were also published in book form (Consolo; Piattelli). A recent survey of manuscript sources from Piedmont alone, for example, unearthed over seven hundred musical scores including compositions from the music archives of six Jewish communities, today preserved in communal and university archives in Italy, Israel and the United States (Spagnolo, Musical Traditions; see also Moffa). These materials are essential to understanding to which degree the changes brought about by the emancipation prompted Italian Jews to innovate their liturgical "sound" by commissioning musicians to write for the synagogue and by collecting Jewish liturgical works by other European composers.

The musical contents of these manuscripts allow us to reconstruct a lost synagogue sound, reminiscent of an array of non-Jewish musical worlds, set to the Hebrew texts of the liturgy. Melodies evoking opera (and operetta) and the liturgy of the Catholic Church were sung by small choirs of children and adults (at times also including women), accompanied by the organ or the harmonium. The names of the composers, and often the performers, appear together with the scores. Among them were: local amateurs whose desire to write and perform music was often accompanied by monetary donations to the community; Jewish professionals; and non-Jewish instrumentalists and composers who also worked for the Catholic Church, in government, or in opera houses. The scope of the music collections of the Italian Jewish communities is strikingly wide- ranging and revealing of the breadth of the musical and cultural interests of their leaderships. Because copies of musical scores were often shared among different congregations, and composers traveled from city to city, music collections also helped to form a social and cultural network that connected Jewish communities with one another in Italy and in Europe, and with the non-Jewish world.

Research in Italian Jewish music also draws on literary sources, such as liturgical texts (both manuscript and print), rabbinic responsa, personal and communal papers, letters, and, since the 19th century, many news items that appeared in the Italian (and at times European) Jewish press. These materials provide often essential contextual information, ranging from the dates and details of synagogue performances, establishment of choirs, and special liturgical ceremonies, to full-fledged debates about the role of music in synagogue life, the impact of modernity on traditional repertoires, and the involvement of Jewish musicians in the Italian and European music scene.

From [nal nav cal] to "L'Emancipazione israelitica"

Research on the ethnographic recording by Leo Levi, the 61-second long Hebrew text with incipit [nal nav cal] sung to a Risorgimento melody, involves the interplay of a host of oral, written, and literary sources documenting the evolution of Jewish music in Italy.

Archival research allowed me to identify this short recording as an orally transmitted rendition of a bilingual Hebrew-Italian poem by Rabbi Giuseppe Levi Gattinara, written to celebrate the emancipatory Letters patent (March 28, 1848), and published in 1852. According to the Piedmontese pronunciation of the Hebrew letter 'ayin as nain, the mystery incipit of the recording, nal nav cal, corresponds to the Hebrew incipit of the poem: 'al av qal. The poem was sung during a yearly ritual known in Hebrew as hag ha-herut, "Holiday of Freedom" (Spagnolo, Italian Jewish Musical Traditions 27-28). In turn, the correct identification of the Hebrew incipit led to a manuscript documenting the liturgical texts that informed this ritual and provided further insights about the musical background of the field recording. These connections lead to a broader understanding of the role of music in the invention of a new liturgical tradition celebrating a turning point in Italian, Piedmontese, and Jewish history during the Risorgimento (Shulvass).

The text sung in Levi's field recording, delivered by Alessandro Segre in 1954, coincides with the first Hebrew stanza of the bilingual poem penned by Rabbi Gattinara, who was not new to bilingual endeavors. The rabbi had previously published in Casale, in Italian, an ode to King Carlo Alberto, titled "Al re Carlo Alberto e al popolo piemontese: inno degli israeliti casalesi" ("To King Carlo Alberto and the Piedmontese people: Hymn of the Casale Jews"), likely in 1847. This poem was a "traduzione dall'ebraico" ("a translation from Hebrew"), but, unfortunately, the Hebrew version was not printed with it. In Italian, "Al re Carlo Alberto ..." also appeared in a collection of poetic and prose texts dedicated to the King and to the Risorgimento, edited by Giorgio Briano (1812-1874) and published in Turin in 1847 or 1848 (Briano 153-154). It is important to note that this collection, which was kindly brought to my attention by Scott Lerner, also included "Fratelli d'Italia" by Mameli and Novaro (under the title, "Inno Nazionale," or "National Anthem," Briano 81-82).

A few years later, in 1852, Levi Gattinara issued Italian and Hebrew versions of a new poem. Specifically dedicated to the theme of Jewish emancipation, the poem appeared under the lengthy title, "L'Emancipazione israelitica. Inno ebraico da recitarsi annualmente il XXIX marzo nell'Oratorio Israelitico di Casale e dallo stesso tradotto in poesia italiana" ("The Israelite Emancipation. Hebrew Hymn to be recited annually on March 29th in the Israelite Temple of Casale, translated by the same [author] in Italian poetry"). The Italian text of "L'Emancipazione" was then reissued in 1858. This latter version was studied by Robert Melzi, who analyzed its many literary allusions and mistakenly attributed the authorship to Giuseppe Levi (Vercelli 1814-1874). The latter, also a rabbi, was the editor of L'educatore israelita together with Rabbi Esdra Pontremoli (Ivrea 1818-Vercelli 1888).

The double incipit of the poem is, in Hebrew, 'al 'av cal bashamayim habitu... ("A light cloud they saw in the sky ..."), and, in Italian, Quasi lampo, su fulgida Nube ... ("Almost as lightning, on a shining cloud ..."; see Table 3 at the end of essay).

The Informant, the Author, the Poem, and (Perhaps) the Composer

The musical memory represented in Leo Levi's field recording is of great relevance to the history of Italian Jewish Music. Alessandro (Avram) Segre, born in 1904, was the son of Rabbi Ezechiele Segre (1877-1941), and the older brother of Rabbi Augusto Segre (b. 1915), author of an important autobiographical essay published in his Memories ofJewish Life. Ezechiele had followed in the footsteps of Salamone Debenedetti (1831 or 1832-1910) and Jacob Samuel Levi (1834-1897) as cantor (Heb. hazan) of the synagogue of Casale Monferrato, where he served as assistant Rabbi (under Rabbi Giuseppe Abram Levi, b. 1879, son of cantor Jacob Samuel Levi and father of the ethnomusicologist Leo Levi), scribe, ritual slaughterer, and Hebrew-school teacher, informally since 1910, and officially beginning in 1921. At his death in 1941, Ezechiele was effectively the last rabbi of Casale Monferrato. His own musical legacy, and thus that of his son Alessandro, went deep into the history of Casale Jewry: an orphan, he had been raised by his maternal grandfather, Gershon Israel Deangeli, whose family members had been extremely involved in Casale synagogue music, fulfilling a variety of cantorial roles. After the end of the Second World War and the Holocaust, which had decimated the community, Alessandro Segre became de facto Leo Levi's main informant for the Casale tradition. In fifty-eight recorded items, Alessandro preserved what was left of a centuries-old musical tradition that followed the Ashkenazi rite with ties to other Ashkenazi communities in Italy since the early modern period, and that had also produced important Hebrew musical cantatas in the 18th century (Adler, "Sheloshah teqasim").

Giuseppe Levi Gattinara (Vercelli 1813-Casale Monferrato 1855), Chief Rabbi of Casale Monferrato from 1834 until his death, was a pioneering scholar of Italian Jewish studies, and a champion of the cause of Jewish Emancipation in Piedmont (Levi Gattinara, "Varieta"; Luzzatto Voghera 161). The cultural range of Rabbi Gattinara's knowledge and the span of his political interests are well represented in his poetry.

The two poems presented by Levi Gattinara under the title "L'Emancipazione israelitica" comprise eight stanzas each, and the anapestic decasyllable verses follow the same meter both in Hebrew and in Italian. The meter, characterized by accents falling on the 3rd, 6th and 9th syllables of each verse, was common in opera librettos since the 17th century, but gained enormous currency in 19th-century Italian poetry. Eventually known as "decasillabo manzoniano," it appears in two foundational choral works that are part of the Italian literary canon of the first half of the century. Both works directly addressed the theme of Italy's unification. In the chorus of the second act of the tragedy, Il Conte di Carmagnola (1820), Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) wrote against fratricidal wars among Italians serving conflicting political powers, and expressed hope for national unity and brotherhood (Siam fratelli; siam stretti ad un patto, or "We are brothers; we are bound to a covenant"). The chorus, "Va' pensiero," in the third act of the opera Nabucco (1842) by Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) on the libretto by Temistocle Solera (1815-1878) calls for a "homeland, beautiful and lost" (O, mia patria, si bella e perduta!), and is often considered as Italy's "other" national anthem (on choral works in the music of Risorgimento, see Gosset).

A comparison among verses drawn from each of the four texts (Manzoni, Solera, and Gattinara's Hebrew and Italian versions of the poem) is emblematic of Levi Gattinara's poetic references:
   S'ode a DEstra uno SQUILlo di TROMba

   (Manzoni, Il conte di Carmagnola, Act. 2)

   Va', penSIEro, sulLAli doRAte

   (Solera, Nabuccodonosor, Part III, 1842)

   'al 'av QAL bashaMAyim haBItu

   (Levi Gattinara, L'Emancipazione israelitica, 1848: Hebrew text)

   Quasi LAMpo, su FULgida NUbe

   (Levi Gattinara, L'Emancipazione israelitica, 1848: Italian text)

It is not hard to imagine why Manzoni and Solera's patriotic works could be inspirational, or that the lyrics from Nabucco could serve as a model for Levi Gattinara. Verdi's music is featured in the musical archive of at least one Piedmontese community (Vercelli), attesting to its direct role within Jewish communal life. (5) The literary references in Levi Gattinara's bilingual poem are "foundational" in their own right, ranging from the Bible to Tacitus; they also provide a narrative flow that surveys Jewish history from Abraham to Piedmont, praising King Carlo Alberto and underlining the enormous advantages he would receive from emancipating the Jews.

The highly allegorical language of the poem is already manifest in the first Hebrew stanzas, which coincide with the text recorded by Leo Levi:
'al av qal ba-shamayim habitu   A light cloud they saw in the sky
malakh hesedya'uf liqratenu     An angel of mercy flew to us
ka-baraq yarutz orah hinenu     As lightning [it] sped our way
omed sham el ragle he-harim     And stands there at the feet of the
                                mounts [Piedmont]

anve-eretz ba-shefelyeshevu     The humbles of the land sat in the pits
el qolo me-'afaryit'oreru       To his voice from the dust they awoke
mi-yado va-hayyim yikatevu      By his hand in life they will be
ezrahim 'al luhot ha-horim      inscribed Citizens onto the tablets [of
                                the Law]

tzidqot el ha-moshi'a saperu    Tell of the just deeds of a redemptive
ha-yompesah lakhem ha-'ivrim    God Today is Passover for you, o
(x2)                            Hebrews

In Levi Gattinara's Hebrew text, Italian places, laws, and political occasions found Hebrew (and biblical) equivalents. The poem thus refers to Piedmont in Hebrew as ragle he-harim, literally, "the feet of the mounts." Citizenship is inscribed on tablets that directly recall Mosaic Law revealed at Mount Sinai. And the Emancipation is to be celebrated as a new Passover, a renewed redemptive passage from slavery to freedom due to divine intervention.

A similar poetic sensibility can be detected in the corresponding stanzas of the parallel Italian poem (of which we have no extant sound recording):
Quasi lampo, su fulgida nube        As lightning on a light cloud
Vola l'Angiol di pace messaggio     The Angel, message of peace, flies
Sotto l'Alpi s'arresta quel         Under the Alps the ray stops
raggio, E n'imporpora il limpido    And reddens its clear sky

Egli e sceso, lo annunzian le       He came down, the trumpets announce
tube Del redento Piemonte ai        him To the borders of a redeemed
confini; Gia dal fango i reietti,   Piedmont And now from the mud the
i tapini Sorgon liberi al patto     outcast, the miserable
novel                               Rise free to the new covenant

Ai portenti--divini crescenti       To the growing divine miracles
Nuova Pasqua, festeggia, o Israel   A new Passover/Easter shall you
                                    celebrate, o Israel

In the Italian text, the Letters patent are referred to as a new Covenant (patto), which appears to redeem both the outcast Jews and Piedmont itself. And divine intervention, by means of royal decree, is to be celebrated as a new Pasqua. It is important to note that the latter, in Italian, may refer to both the Jewish Passover and the Christian Easter. The Hebrew and Italian texts thus seem to try to establish a common poetic and political ground, bridging two overlapping cultures and finding unity between Judaism and Christianity. In this ideological landscape, the Emancipation of the Jews is one with the revolutionary ideals of the Risorgimento, and the musico-liturgical performance of the poem inside a synagogue appears to be directed at all Piedmontese, Jewish and Christian alike.

Levi Gattinara's attempt at combining synagogue liturgy and national politics was not unique. His poem was not the only one that addressed the complexity of 19th-century Italian Jewish history through Hebrew text and synagogue song. Literary and archival sources present us with a broader landscape that went far beyond the confines of Casale Monferrato's synagogue. Carlo Alberto of Savoy (1798-1849), King of Sardinia, had signed the Letters patent on March 29, 1848 (or 24 Adar Sheni, 5608, in the Hebrew calendar), in the midst of the Risorgimento wars. This date soon became an occasion for synagogue commemorations throughout Piedmont, and later in the whole country. The occasion was celebrated annually, in conjunction with secular date of the calendar--and not according to the Jewish calendar, as is customary in synagogue liturgy--until the advent of Fascism in the 1920s. The Jewish press of the time provides detailed descriptions of such events. From these we learn that each year Italian rabbis and intellectual personalities wrote Hebrew poems celebrating Italy's grandeur and the Jewish contributions to the country. Rabbi Levi Gattinara was an enthusiastic promoter of the Emancipation. His poem, written in 1848, was probably the first of its kind. The first issue of L'educatore israelita, which appeared in the spring of 1853, promptly described the ceremonies, along with their impact on society at large:
   Piemonte: Anniversario dell'Emancipazione

   La ricorrenza del giorno 29 marzo che, ora sono gia cinque anni
   merce la regale e cittadina giustizia, segno la civile redenzione
   degli Israeliti Piemontesi, colla soave ricordanza chiamo tutti i
   correligionarii alle piu solenni dimostrazioni della interna gioia
   e riconoscenza. Nei sacri tempi con inni di ringraziamento al Padre
   comune di tutti gli uomini, nelle case, con effusione di domestiche
   tenerezze, nel civile consorzio con elargizioni a tutte le classi
   dei concittadini sofferenti versavasi dagli animi la pienezza del
   contento. Cosi il sentimento religioso e il patrio amore, e la
   carita intrecciavansi in ammirabile armonia.

   ("Piedmont: Anniversary of the Emancipation

   (It is already five years that the anniversary of the 29th of March
   marks the civil redemption of the Jews of Piedmont [that was
   achieved] thanks to royal and civic justice. The sweet recurrence
   called all coreligionists to solemnly demonstrate their inner joy
   and gratitude. The fullness of their happiness poured out of every
   soul: in the sacred Temples, through hymns of gratitude towards the
   Father of all mankind, in the private homes, with a display of
   affections, and in the social arena, through donations to all
   classes of needy fellow citizens. Thus, religious feelings, love
   for the homeland, and charity were all tied in admirable harmony").

   (EI I/1853:122)

In Casale Monferrato, the ceremony marking the anniversary of the Emancipation of 1848 was developed into a set ritual under the influence of Rabbi Gattinara himself, during his tenure as Chief Rabbi of the congregation. An undated 19th-century Hebrew manuscript from Casale, kept at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, and catalogued under the comprehensive title tefilot le-hagim u-le-iru'im shonim ("Prayers for various festivals and occasions," JTS Ms. 10561), offers a detailed description of the liturgical setting. The manuscript also provides a name for the new liturgy itself: hag ha-herut, Hebrew for "Festival of Freedom." This name bears a direct reference to Passover, which in synagogue liturgy is described as zman herutenu, or "the time of our freedom." The manuscript (folios 34-35) states how, each year, the commemoration "falls on March 29, and is celebrated on the following Shabbath." The new ritual included a processional of all Torah scrolls, "like on simhat torah," the recitation of Psalms 98, 113, and 115 (fol. 33), and was concluded (fol. 35) by the "song 'al 'av qal ..." (i.e., Levi Gattinara's hymn), intoned by the cantor, "who will pray as during a Festival Day [yom tov]." The same manuscript also includes the liturgy for another politically inspired occasion, established by Levi Gattinara in 1849 and calledpurim shel ha-ashkenazim, or "Purim dei tedeschi" (Foa).

In 1898, when the fiftieth anniversary of the Emancipation was celebrated across Italy, the poem by Rabbi Gattinara was still being sung (in Hebrew) in Casale Monferrato, to an unspecified musical setting:
   Tempio illuminato e adobbato a festa. Canto dell'atha oreda e di un
   inno ebraico, stupendo per concetti e stile purissimo biblico,
   scritto nel 1848 dall' Rabbino Gattinara, eseguito
   egregiamente dal Hazan Salomone Debenedetti. Estrazione e
   processione di tutte le bibbie. Mi sceberah (benedizione al Re e
   alla Com.) e sermone patriottico pronunciati dal Rab. Mag.
   L'orazione di Arvid come nelle feste solenni. Concorso immenso.
   Soddisfazione generale. Distribuzione di L. 50 ai poveri israeliti.

   (VI XLVI/1898: 86)

   ("The Temple's lights were lit like on a holiday. The [liturgical
   poem], atah 'oreta lada'at, along with a Hebrew hymn, marvelous in
   its content and in its pure Biblical style, written in 1848 by the
   esteemed Rabbi Gattinara, were beautifully sung by the hazan,
   Salomone Debenedetti. All Torah scrolls were taken on a
   processional. The rabbi recited a mi sheberakh [prayer invoking
   God's blessing] for the King and the Community, and gave a
   patriotic sermon. 'Arvit [Evening Service] was recited as on the
   High Holy Days. Attendance was overwhelming. All were pleased. 50
   Liras were donated to the Jewish poor").

The same news report also briefly described similar ceremonies that had taken place in numerous cities around the country. The cities were listed, after Casale Monferrato, in alphabetical order, and included Acqui, Alessandria, Asti, Chieri, Cuneo, Ferrara, Firenze, Fossano, Genova, Milano, Napoli, Nizza Monferrato, Padova, Parma, Pitigliano, Trino Vercellese, Venezia, Vercelli, and (not in alphabetical order) Mantua. The last information about the yearly celebration of the hag ha-herut in Casale Monferrato dates from 1913 (VI LXI/1913, 596-597).

Considering that Levi Gattinara's poem was in use for well over fifty years, it is therefore not surprising that its traces remained in the oral tradition of Casale Monferrato, as documented in Levi's field recording. The contextual evidence confirming its authorship and its specific liturgical setting allows us to better understand the musical content of this important testimony, even as the composer of the music remains anonymous. (6)

The composition and performance of various Italian and Hebrew hymns for the hag ha-herut (Festival of Freedom) is documented in four additional distinct manuscript musical compositions that are included in the archival collections of the Piedmontese Jewish community kept at the NLI in Jerusalem. Three of these compositions are from Casale Monferrato itself, and were written by the two main composers active in the community between the 1840s and the 1870s: Eugenio Testa and "Maestro Smoltz." Both composers were not Jewish. A fourth composition, likely from Vercelli, was the work of a local Jewish composer, Bonajut Treves:

1. "Inno Per le Mancipazioni" (sic) is an undated composition (NLI Mus. Coll. Vercelli 85) by Bonajut Treves, on a Hebrew poem by an anonymous author (possibly, Giuseppe Raffael Levi, 1802-1885, Chief Rabbi of Vercelli in 1836- 1885). The music is set for solo baritone, mixed choir (SATB), and organ accompaniment. According to a news report from 1898, this composition was written in 1848 (VI XLV1/1898: 86-88).

2. The "Inno [...] per la festa nazionale israelitica di Casale Monferrato" (Ms. NLI Mus. Coll. Casale, no. 9f) is an undated composition by Smoltz on a Hebrew hymn by an anonymous author, set for solo tenor, male choir, and orchestral accompaniment (string and wind instruments). The manuscript was dedicated to "Giuseppe Vitta," most likely Giuseppe Raffaele Vitta (1773- 1858), son of a prominent member of the community of Casale in the 18th century, Emilio Vitta (1754-1820), and himself a deputato of the Universita of Montferrat and a deputy to the Jewish Assembly in Paris. The dedication on the manuscript enables dating the composition to the decade 1848-1858 (between the Emancipation and Giuseppe Vitta's death). Emilio Vitta's role in the Casale community is documented in congregational records (see Pinqas leaves 93 ff.), while documents about his son Giuseppe are listed by R. Segre (xcviii, and nos. 3390, 3444, 3455).

3. "L'Emancipazione: canto degli israeliti" (NLI Mus. Coll. Casale, no. 15b) was another composition by Smoltz, set to a poem in Italian by a (yet unidentified) Professor D. Cinquino. The manuscript, undated, is a setting for solo sopranos and female choir with orchestral accompaniment (string and wind instruments).

4. "Inno pel hag ha-herut 1876: All'onorevole amministrazione israelitica omaggio dell'autore. Inno ebraico: Parole del Rabbino G. Levi Gattinara musicato da Eugenio Testa" (NLI Mus. Coll. Casale, no. 8), is a setting of the Italian version of Levi Gattinara's hymn from 1876. The composition by E. Testa, set for a three-part male choir (TTB) and harmonium accompaniment, was performed that year in Casale on April 1 (VI XXIV/1876: 141).

Investigating the identities of the composers of these works is highly revealing of the intercultural and political texture underlying the new synagogue ritual. Bonajut (or "Bonajutino") Treves (Vercelli 1796 or 1818-Biella 1883), was the heir to one of the wealthiest Jewish families in Vercelli (R. Segre no. 3465). As a young man, likely before the Emancipation of 1848, Treves enjoyed the support of his family and attended the Conservatory of Naples, where he studied with leading opera composer Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870). Upon his return to Vercelli, he devoted his musical creativity, pro bono, to the synagogue of his hometown. The earliest available notice of Treves's regular musical activity there was published in 1853 (EI I/1853: 153).

Eugenio Testa, a choir director, organist and composer, was active in the synagogue of Casale Monferrato from 1876 (XXIV/1876: 141). He was also Maestro di Cappella at the Cathedral of Casale during the 1880s, where he composed works like Tantum Ergo (published by Ricordi in 1888).

Very little can be said about the identity of "Maestro Smoltz" (at times spelled "Smolz"), whose work for the synagogue of Casale Monferrato was extensive. The correct attribution of the composer's first name, which depending on the extant manuscripts could have been "Giuseppe" or "Antonio," remains obscure, and points to the possibility that several (perhaps related) musicians with the same last name were hired by the congregation at different times (see NLI Mss. Mus. Coll. Casale 15b: "Giuseppe Smoltz;" 15a: "A. Smoltz;" and Var. 56: "Antonio Smoltz"). Circumstantial evidence, such as the Canfari sheet music paper of the manuscript collection, 1844. Versetti posti in musica dal Maestro Smoltz per Contralto e Coro (Archivio Terracini, Torino), points to his activity in northern Italy, between Torino, Casale Monferrato and Milano, towards the first half of the 19th century (on Torino's Canfari typography see Chiosso). Another Smoltz named Innocenzo was also active in Milan around 1850 where he is listed as "maestro concertatore" for the opera La fioraja by Antonio Top of Form Cagnoni (1828-1896).

The numerous manuscript synagogue works by "Maestro Smoltz" comprise a host of musical compositions for the Festivals (especially Passover and simhat torah), several of which include scores intended for orchestral performances. The manuscript 1844. Versetti posti in musica alone includes the alto choral part of thirty-seven different compositions for the hallel service, for simhat torah, and for the Sabbath. Non-Jewish compositions attributed to a "Maestro Smoltz" (again, lacking a first name) found in Italian libraries are all secular in nature. They include chamber music, such as duets for cembalo and violin, dedicated to various female performers. Most interestingly, the composer also authored an Ode, written by Marco Faustino Gagliuffi, and adapted by the renowned opera librettist Felice Romani (1788-1865). An Italian patriot, Gagliuffi (1765-1834), had been a protagonist in the events of the Roman Republic of 1798. The Ode was performed in honor of the arrival of Emperor Franz I of Austria (1778-1835) in Milan in 1825. The fact that the community of Casale would hire a composer involved in writing occasional music for the visit of a (foreign) dignitary is revealing of the role attributed to musica sacra in the public representation of Piedmont's Jewish society at the time of the Emancipation. While liturgical in nature, musica sacra was intended for public synagogue celebrations attended by both Jews and non-Jews together. Its aesthetics bridged Jewish, Catholic, and secular worlds, and its sound was the common denominator that unified both communities.

Following literary evidence, it is quite possible that several other compositions were created for this purpose during the second half of the 19th century, and additional composers were involved in their creation. However, none of the musical settings featured in the extant manuscripts correspond to the oral variant of the performance of Levi Gattinara's hymn recorded by Leo Levi as remembered by Alessandro Segre.


While the remaining compositions are not the sources of the melody found in Levi's field recording, their presence in the synagogue archives of Casale Monferrato and Vercelli suggests that other versions of Rabbi Levi Gattinara's hymn were composed over the years, especially in or shortly after 1848, when the ceremony originated. It is likely that one of these versions, whose original music score went missing, became popular enough to be incorporated into the oral tradition, and thus transmitted into the 20th century, when the ceremony of the hag ha-herut was no longer celebrated. A manuscript version of this melody, however, was included (without title, numbering or any other identifier) in one of the copies of Cantor Marco Amar's collection of synagogue songs from Alessandria (Canti sacri della comunita israelitica di Alessandria, Ms. Archivio Terracini, dated 1926, p. 29). This manuscript is the only written source corresponding to Levi's field recording, and its existence further corroborates the validity and the importance of the oral source.

The musical character of the piece recorded by Levi fully reflects the literary scopes of Gattinara's text. As already suggested, the simple, repetitive melody and the marching rhythm of this work are intimately connected with the musical style of the Italian Risorgimento, and are closely related to "Il canto degli italiani," or "Inno di Mameli," composed in Turin in 1847. An emblematic cultural product of the Risorgimento, "Il canto degli italiani" embodies the confluence of popular and elite musical cultures in a time of social change (Miller 656-568; Biorci). While there is no documentation substantiating the authorship of the setting of the Hebrew text of Rabbi Levi Gattinara's "L'Emancipazione israelitica," it is possible to assume that it was the work of a musician active during the decade of the Emancipation, and fully aware of the musical creativity of the time. The style of this composition is coherent with that of other sources in the Casale synagogue collection, especially those written by "Maestro Smoltz." Given Smoltz's copious production for the congregation, it is likely that he wrote this setting as well.

The musical association between the Hebrew hymn "L'Emancipazione israelitica" and "Il canto degli italiani" holds a great symbolic power. By incorporating the music of the Risorgimento in its synagogue ritual, the Jewish community of Casale Monferrato--through the activism of its rabbinic authority, Giuseppe Levi Gattinara--brought the sounds and the political values of the surrounding non-Jewish world within its secluded walls. The bi-lingual nature of the poem--printed with the Hebrew and Italian metrically homogenous texts graphically facing one another--added a further symbolical layer. The ritual setting, falling outside the scope of the Jewish ritual calendar, was at the same time reminiscent of the normative and celebratory liturgy of the Festivals. The entire ceremony of the hag ha-herut can thus be seen as a translation of the Risorgimento into musico-liturgical terms. By espousing the cause of the Risorgimento, the congregation fostered the values of the Emancipation and of its confluence in mainstream Italian culture and society, but also adapted them to its own particular Jewish values and languages.

Table 4 presents a comparison between a written source of the hymn from Ms. Archivio Terracini, Canti sacri della comunita israelitica di Alessandria, and an oral source, transcribed from Levi's field recording. Additionally, the table highlights further affinities between these two settings of "L'Emancipazione israelitica" and Michele Novaro's "Il canto degli italiani." This comparison further substantiates the co-territorial component of the oral tradition of Casale Monferrato, showing how the new sounds of the Jewish Emancipation and the new sounds of the Risorgimento were closely interrelated. This melodic connection, which spoke to all Piedmontese regardless of their religious affiliations, brings forth the synagogue as a place of continued cultural creativity. It also points to the synagogue as a shared sacred space in which Jews and Christians could coexist, and celebrate the political ideals of a new world in which all citizens could be equally represented. Finally, it allows us to understand the synagogue and its sounds as an integral aspect of the soundscape of the rest of the Italian territory, far from the walls of the synagogue, and those of the ghetto.

Francesco Spagnolo

University of California, Berkeley

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Il vessillo israelitico (VI). Casale Monferrato, 1874-1922.

(1) See Spagnolo, Italian Jewish Musical Traditions; "Italian Jewish Musical Memory"; "Musiche in contatto."

(2) Fondo Leo Levi, Racc. 52: 45 (Reel III:13), Archivi di Etnomusicologia, Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome; Leo Levi Collection, Y131, National Sound Archives, NLI (National Library of Israel), Jerusalem; published in Spagnolo, Italian Jewish Musical Traditions, no. 42.

(3) Early references to musical connections between the Risorgimento and Fascism were brought forth by Franco Fortini (1917-1993) in his commentary to the documentary All'armi siam fascisti! (Italy, 1962).

(4) These titles are similar to those found in contemporary music manuscript sources from Livorno studied by Seroussi ("Livorno" 137-139). See for example Musica sacra di Livorno ... (Mus. Add. 6); Shabbat. Musica sacra [...] (Mus. Add. 7); Canti Sacri per i Giorni Penitenziali e Festivi ... (Mus. Add. 8) in the Birnbaum Collection (Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati).

(5) "Preludio, Scena ed Aria, Dio di Giuda nell'opera Nabuccodonosor" (Ms. NLI Mus. Coll. Vercelli 101), and "Coro di profughi scozzesi nell'opera Macbeth" (Ms. NLI Mus. Coll. Vercelli 102).

(6) Previous research did not succeed in fully assessing the historical and liturgical context of this piece. Levi ("'al haqlatat") dated it in 1855; Piattelli (Canti liturgici ebraici del Piemonte 45) described it as an "inno per l'Indipendenza italiana [del] 1858" (a "hymn for the Italian independence [from] 1858," following, but not crediting, Levi's own spoken annotation in the recording itself); and Melzi did not address either the Hebrew text or the liturgical context of the poem.

Caption: Table 1: Transcription of the Hebrew hymn, incipit [nal nav cal], highlighting recurring structural patterns.

Caption: Table 2: Comparison between the structural melodic and rhythmic patterns of the opening phrase of the Hebrew hymn [nal nav cal] (above), and "Il canto degli Italiani" by M. Novaro.

Caption: Table 3: L'emancipazione israelitica, bi-lingual poem by Rabbi Giuseppe Levi Gattinara, Cassone, Turin 1852, p. 1.

Caption: Table 4: L'Emancipazione israelitica. Comparison among three sources: 1. Ms. AT Canti sacri... (1926): 29; 2. Field recording by Leo Levi (informant Alessandro Segre, 1954, AESC R52: 45; NSA Y0131); 3. Opening and conclusive melodic elements from Il canto degli italiani by M. Novaro (1847).
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Author:Spagnolo, Francesco
Publication:Annali d'Italianistica
Geographic Code:7ISRA
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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