“THE BEST CANTORIAL CONCERT I HAVE EVER HEARD, AND I HAVE BEEN TO AT LEAST A HUNDRED OVER THE LAST THIRTY YEARS!”
These were but a few of the comments overheard as a most appreciative audience wanting more of the magic reluctantly filed out of the Congregation Beth-El Sanctuary after being treated to a magnificent concert of cantorial virtuosity on Sunday, October 12.
It was indeed a night of unsurpassed chazzanut.
From the first moment that Cantor David entered the sanctuary welcoming the audience with the stirring opening piece from the Hallel, ma ashiv la hashem (by Paul Kowarsky) to the last exuberant audience-assisted choruses of the “Sheyebone Beis Hamikdash” finale, Cantor David Guber, Cantor of Congregation Beth-El, along with his father Cantor Shlomo Guber who is visiting from Israel for the High Holy Days left the crowd of more than 430 concert goers in awe of their amazing performance. Cantor Daniel Gildar, accompanist extraordinaire was flown in from Philadelphia to superbly assist the cantors on the grand piano. Rabbi Dr. Allan Nadler introduced each number with a history of the piece, its composer, and its place in the liturgy.
Consul General Ziv Nevo Kulman of Israel, in one of his first public appearances since arriving and taking office in Montreal was introduced and asked to come to the stage where he and the Cantors, along with virtually every single member of the entire audience joined in a deeply moving and soul-touching rendition of Avinu Shebashamayim, a prayer for the welfare of the State of Israel. The Consul General thanked the concert organizers for having invited him and commended the Montreal Jewish community for their concern and continuous support of Israel in both good and bad times. He echoed the feelings of the audience when he described how moved he was by the chazanut, and the depth of feeling he experienced in the rendition of the classic melodies that had stirred him to tears.
Cantor David and his father received the accolades of the audience, and in honest humility typical of Cantor David, he took the final moments on the Bima to publicly thank the Rabbi for his depth of knowledge, Cantor Gildar for his remarkable accompaniment, his father for his life-long support and encouragement, and then, the Concert Committee comprised of Maxine Bercovici, Concert Chairperson and Committee Members Lou Schiff and Bill Surkis who had devoted so many hours and had worked so diligently to make this concert a reality.
Cathy Rabinovitch, Executive Director of Congregation Beth-El was thanked for the support she and her office team provided in making the concert the great success it was.
A CD of the concert (music) and a DVD (full performance) will be made available in the near future. Keep watching the What’s New section of our website over the next few weeks.