Sabra Sounds: Our poetic foundations

Rachel Bluwstein, known simply as Rachel, is remembered for her lyrical poetry and simple language. Her Selection of Songs is offered under the title of her poem, "Zamar Nogea".

rachel disk 8 8298 (photo credit: )
rachel disk 8 8298
(photo credit: )
RACHEL Selection of Songs- Zamar Nogea (NMC) The NMC record label recently came out with a new series called Hameshorerim Hagdolim (The Great Poets). This nostalgic collection offers some of the country's greatest Hebrew poetry performed in song by top artists from today and the past. Each album is accompanied by a booklet with lyrics and a brief biography of the writers, as well as information on when and by whom each song was first performed. Rachel Bluwstein (189-1931), known simply as Rachel, is remembered for her lyrical poetry and simple language. Her Selection of Songs is offered under the title of her poem, "Zamar Nogea" (which loosely translates to "touching singer"). Indeed, her prose covers great depths of feeling. From "Akara/Uri" (sung by Ahinoam Nini) to "Ani Ve'ata" (performed by Tzeva Tari Trio) to "Gan Na'ool" (sung by Shuki and Dorit), Rachel's lyrics stress feelings of loneliness, longing for a beloved and fate. Some of her best-known verse expresses love for Eretz Israel and nostalgia for the Sea of Galilee as is seen on songs "Hofay Yarden" and "Kinneret." Rachel's poems excel in musical tone, and in this new collection her talent proves timeless. Rachel was not solely a Hebrew lyric poet of the Zionist settlement years; she also remains an important voice in today's world. NATHAN ALTERMAN Selection of Songs- Mutar Lomar (NMC) The voices of Yehoram Gaon, Chava Alberstein, Arik Einstein, and the late Shoshana Damari among others, have been pooled together for this new double album of lyrics by Nathan Alterman called Mutar Lomar. Alterman wrote lyrics to more than a few songs that became overnight hits. Many of his poems deal with love and the urban living experience, among them the popular "Gan Meir B'Tel Aviv" (performed by Hanan Yovel). While many of the Hebrew poets who preceded him felt connected to the rural biblical landscape or Israeli reality, Alterman employed an avant garde style and instead wrote about an abstract theatrical world in his poetry. The Israel Prize winner's poems had a fixed number of stanzas and sentences and a rhyme scheme, making them suitable for music. This anthology includes such nuggets as "Lezot Haya Lo Tov" (sung by Nurit Galron), "Kalaniyot" (sung by Shoshana Damari), and "Od Hozer Hanigun" (sung by Berry Sakharoff). Alterman was born in 1910 in Warsaw, Poland, and died in 1970 in Tel Aviv. LEAH GOLDBERG Selection of Songs- Ani Holechet Alay (NMC) Leah Goldberg's collection goes under the sub-heading of her song, "Ani Holechet Alay." She too was a prolific writer and NMC has included 38 of her songs on the double CD dedicated to her. Chava Alberstein, Yehudit Ravitz, Ahinoam Nini, Arik Einstein, Ilanit, and Yossi Banai perform such hits as "Ze Mi Kvar," "Nahal Sheli," and "Delila." Goldberg could not have known that when she penned her poems in the early 1900s than more than 100 years later, singers would still turn to them for inspiration. Also included on this album is Ahinoam Nini's famous song "Hu - Boee Kala," which was written by Goldberg in 1955. Many of the singers on this album owe their careers to Goldberg's prose. The award-winning Goldberg wrote about universal themes such as loneliness and broken relationships, but she also wrote about Jewish culture and nature. The double album highlights her contribution to the Israeli literature and music field. She was born in Germany in 1911 and died in Jerusalem in 1970. Overall, this three-part collection of NMC brings to life the words of these important writers and also revives a little bit of Israel's past literary glory. The albums prove that the verses of these great writers still evoke powerful responses in readers and listeners of the 21st century. There are no "first-time" recordings here, instead NMC has reached deep into the country's musical treasure chest to create three valuable anthologies.