Dr. Jerry Glantz



























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The Man Who Spoke To God - Cantor Leib Glantz - Cantor, Composer, Researcher, Writer, Educator, Zionist leader.
Leib Glantz was a poet at heart – a heart overflowing with song. He sang a psalm of love to Israel's prayers, its music, its festivals, its To’rah and its faith.
  In a sense, his singing was but a manifestation of the poetry in his heart. He saw the world in terms of poetry, and people that could transcend themselves through song. The “People of Israel” represented for Glantz the "Song of God". The Israel renaissance in Zion was symbolized for him in the words: “O’ sing unto the Lord a new song!”
  Can we comprehend the magnitude of Glantz's love for the Jewish people as they stand before God? Who can describe his admiration of Israel's festivals and of the light radiating from Israel’s To’rah and customs?
  Who among us who has heard Glantz's prayers can free himself of the impression that here stood a man whose whole soul was invested in every word he uttered?
  Glantz lived in a generation that had devoted its life to the love of the people of Israel, to aspiration for the rebirth of the land of Israel, and faith in the renaissance of the life of the Jewish people in their country. It was a generation of dauntless people that renewed a great deal in the life of the nation -- a generation that revived the Hebrew language as its national tongue, an achievement not accomplished by generations of Jewish scholars such as the Tannaites, the Ammoraites, the Pay’ta’nim and the poets.
  It was this generation that Glantz addressed, calling its sons to come to the synagogue to pray with him. Young people rediscovered their own music – the music of God – finding that it throbs in their hearts as it throbbed in the hearts of their fathers before them. Even the elders felt that Glantz had become a bridge between themselves and their sons, spanning the gap between generations that came before, and the generations yet to come.
  Excerpts from: A Poet at Heart, by Professor Yehuda Even-Shmuel Kaufman, philosopher, writer and scholar.
The amazing thing about Glantz is that he truly succeeded in uncovering and comprehending the ancient secrets of the Nu’sach. This enabled him to navigate his compositions toward distant musical targets, with the confidence of a man who clearly knew where he was coming from and to where he wanted to go.
  The focal point of Glantz's cantorial creativity was his famous composition She’ma Yis’ra’el (Hear O' Israel). This composition is considered one of the greatest cantorial works ever written, if not the greatest! When we listen to She’ma Yis’ra’el, one tends to feel that it is impossible to sing this in any other way -- as if this were the final interpretation, of which there can be none other…
  Excerpts from: Artistic Perfection: The Musical Interpretation of Prayers, by Maestro Elli Jaffe, classical music conductor, composer, and director of the choir of the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem.
Leib Glantz, or Leibele Glantz, as he was endearingly referred to by masses whom he enthralled by his fiery, often mystical and extraordinarily imaginative approach to Cha’za’nut, was unquestionably among the foremost practitioners of the chazanic art of the zenith period of its history. Leibele Glantz was among the last of the chazanic giants of that era, as well as one who stood out in a manner which differed from even his most illustrious contemporaries, due to his personality as well his rare vocal and musical gifts, resulting in his unique approach to his sacred calling.

The uniqueness of Leibele Glantz, formed by particular characteristics which distinguished him from all other Cha’za’nim known to this writer who preceded or followed him, stems first from his depth of intensity of passion in liturgical singing. From this metaphoric tree trunk, ever present in his chanting, branches extended in numerous directions.


Chazanic artistry comes to the fore at every level of dynamic nuance within his deeply impassioned approach in addressing the Almighty. Most typically, it is manifest in dramatic, fiery and ecstatic delivery, as if addressing the Master of the Universe, distantly perceived in the heavens above. At other times his delivery comes off as the Jew’s profoundly felt, collective cry for mercy across history. Yet at other times -- unique to Glantz’s delivery -- it comes off as an angry protest of the Jew across history for his suffering and persecution. Sharply contrasting to all these is the quasi-whispered intimate prayer to the Father in Heaven, now perceived as close by, on the earth below, as it were.

  Excerpts from: The Uniqueness of the Chazanic Art of Leib Glantz, by Cantor Sholom Kalib, author of The Musical Tradition of the Eastern European Synagogue, and Professor Emeritus of Eastern Michigan University.