rozhinkes mit mandlen (satb)
Rozhinkes Mit Mandlen is an aria from Goldfaden’s opera Shulamis (c. 1880). The plot is set in ancient Jerusalem at the time of the Roman destruction of the Temple (70 c.e.). It is sung by the warrior-hero, Absolom, in the desert, as he recalls a lullaby his mother used to sing (Act 1, scene 4). The song hardly fits into the story line; its presence seems forced. But that is not unusual in musical theatre productions. Songs irrelevant to the plot were often inserted either to show off a particular singer’s vocal prowess, to showcase a composer’s talent, or to otherwise promote the show by pleasing the audience. While the opera Shulamis is largely forgotten, the song Rozhinkes endured, becoming what is probably the most popular Yiddish lullaby of the twentieth century.
The references to the cradle, the goat, the raisins and almonds were borrowed from an older Yiddish lullaby, Unter Dem Kinds Vigele. The melody is original to Goldenfaden, but its opening strains reveal a strong affinity to an ancient Jewish liturgical cantillation mode.
This piece is recorded on cd-09 and is also available for SA choir (see S-322).
This piece is part of Pearl Shangkuan’s Mosaic Series.