‘Tis the season for… repentance? Not really. But this version of Avinu Malkeinu by Australian-Israeli singer Lior is so heartbreaking and powerful, we had to share it. Recorded in September 2013 at the Sydney Opera House, it has since garnered a grand total of YouTube 1,046 views. This will not do! We can not let Barbra Streisand monopolize this small but important corner of the internet, even if she is besties with Shimon Peres.
If you’d like to spend your Friday night curled up on the sofa weeping to cantorial genius (and really, why wouldn’t you?), you must listen to the full recording of the concert, a 45 minute song cycle of Jewish and Islamic religious music centered around the theme of compassion. Lior is a master of Middle Eastern vocals: tender and emotive with extraordinary range, but never veering into sentimentality. Composer Nigel Westlake’s lush, cinematic arrangements are perfectly executed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Simply put, it’ll knock your socks off.
Shabbat shalom, and happy listening.