ABRASS, OSIAS (Joshua; 1829–1883), Russian ḥazzan and synagogue composer. He was born in Berdichev and became known as "Pitshe Odesser" ("The Mite from Odessa") when as a boy he gained fame for his soprano solos in the choir of his teacher, Bezalel Shulsinger in Odessa. Abrass also studied with sulzer in Vienna. He was ḥazzan and choir leader in Tarnopol in 1840 and in Lvov in 1842. In 1858 he became chief ḥazzan in the Odessa synagogue, the largest in Russia. Abrass' phenomenal vocal performance as well as his contributions to synagogal choir music enhanced the fame of this synagogue and set new standards in Eastern European liturgical singing. His sole printed work was Simrat-Joh; Gottesdienstliehe Gesaenge der Israeliten (1874) for cantor and choir. His virtuosity in coloratura was compared with that of Adelina Patti, the great soprano, as exemplified by his "Simrat-Joh" No. 27, or the following "ornamental extension" of the note E-flat (ibid. No. 32): Abrass, Osias Abrass' 39 published compositions may be judged best as a further attempt to connect the traditional meshorerim style with Western choral music. He uses chordal harmony, effects learned from Rossini (No. 10), and even fugato technique (No. 18) only to embellish a basically monodic melody. See also G. Ephros , Cantorial Anthology, 1 (1919), no. 51. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Friedmann, Lebensbilder, 2 (1921), 73–79; Idelsohn, in: Ha-Toren, 11 (1924), 138–54; E. Zaludkowski, Kulturtreger fun der Yidisher Liturgie (1930), 67–71; Sendrey, Music, index; A. Rosen (ed.), Geshikhte fun Khazones (1924). (Hanoch Avenary)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • MUSIC — This article is arranged according to the following outline: introduction written sources of direct and circumstantial evidence the material relics and iconography notated sources oral tradition archives and important collections of jewish music… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • BACHMANN, JACOB — (1846–1905), Russian ḥazzan and composer of synagogue music. Bachmann served as a boy singer with the ḥazzan of his native town of Berdichev. He developed a phenomenal voice and was admitted to the Petrograd Conservatoire in 1864. anton… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.