You know about Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel, the theologian and civil rights activist. But how about Rabbi Heschel the young Yiddish-language poet of religious and romantic yearnings? It is with this Heschel that musician Basya Schechter (of Pharaoh’s Daughter) has spent the past seven years, composing 10 songs that for lyrics and inspiration draw on verse Heschel wrote as a university student in Berlin. The music is sometimes spare, sometimes richly orchestrated, with influences ranging from Zimbabwe to Borough Park. Here’s a sample, taken from the track “To a Lady in a Dream”—one of the album’s more Mediterranean-inflected compositions.
For more music, and for the fairly remarkable back story on this project (Heschel’s life story, and Schechter’s too), tune in tomorrow for the latest edition of Vox Tablet.