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 the paradigm mentor of Cha’za’nut in our time. Lovers of cantorial adore his glorious voice, his tears and his joyful music. Every person who was privileged to hear him praying was affected and moved by his passion and his intimate interpretations of the prayer texts. Moreover, there is not one cantor or Ba’al Te’fi’la in our time that has not been directly or indirectly influenced by the legacy left for us by Leib Glantz. Consciously or subconsciously, every improvisational sequence in today’s cantorial art contains the ingredients originally created by Leib Glantz.
  He possessed the quality to heal the souls of his listeners. He provoked anger and made demands of the Almighty. He succeeded in bringing the aura of heaven to earth, so that we mortals could share a glimpse of what the creatures and angels surrounding God’s chariot might experience. Glantz evoked in us the deepest of human emotions. We experienced pain as he reminded us of the destruction of our people, our communities and our Holy Temple. His ascending, chromatic rising and falling wailing, made us tremble with anxiety, fear and awe. His pastoral passages of Ka’va’na and D’vei’kut made us dwell upon the meaning of life.
  Excerpts from: “He Who Strikes Flames of Fire,” by Cantor Benjamin Z. Maissner, cantor and music director of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, Canada.
With an audience in Tel Aviv, capable of understanding the words, Glantz was able to provide ever-deeper interpretations of the prayers, finding hidden meanings and illuminating both the explicit and implicit content. He accomplished this by venturing into new musical areas rarely explored. He used chromatics (12 tone scales), as well as modern musical concepts of tonality. He would use diminished and augmented intervals, and even atonal expressions. He introduced “Pshat” (deeper interpretations, literal meanings), as well as expressionism into his music. At times Glantz would “refresh” the Nu’sach by veering far away from it, then returning to it, preventing monotony and reinforcing it anew.
  His colossal vocal abilities enabled Glantz to venture vocally to wherever his creative mind took him. Though his voice was unique, his style and philosophical approach have deeply influenced all who came after him.
  Contemporary composers of liturgical music are currently writing music with modern harmonies, mainly because Glantz proved that one could still be rooted in tradition and at the same time be thoroughly modern. The music performed at Jerusalem’s Great Synagogue is a study of how tradition and modernism can be successfully combined -- an example set by Leib Glantz.
  My cantorial compositions are extremely influenced by Glantz’s teachings. I write music to enhance the text, while endeavoring to be emotionally stirring, musically interesting, yet true to the Nu’sach. Glantz opened up my imagination and showed me the limitless horizons of creativity, while at the same time remaining true to tradition. I may even write atonally, while at the same time being tonal. I can venture from one mode into another key using any note on the original scale as the new tonic of a new scale. I can use chromatics, dissonant intervals, large interval jumps; in short, I can go fearlessly wherever my imagination takes me, thanks to the path shown by the immortal genius of Leib Glantz. He will forever be an integral part of the continuous development and metamorphosis of cantorial and Jewish Music.
  Excerpts from: Leib Glantz’s Impact on The Art of Cha’za’nut, by Cantor Moshe Schulhof, teacher of Cha’za’nut and Nu’sach at the Academy of Jewish Religion in New York.
A number of techniques that Glantz employed in composing and/or singing a cantorial recitative point to his grounding in, and familiarity with classical form, nuance, performance practice, and period-related trends. Some of these techniques are not normally associated with vocal music but rather suggest a musical line that could easily have been written for an instrument. Others are indicative of Glantz’s determination, be it deliberate or subconscious, to develop his own unique characteristic style. In essence, this moved his composition into a realm that might aptly be classified as “post-Romantic.” The “quasi-classical” compositions that were more or less the order of cantorial composition of the “Golden Era of Cha’za’nut” (roughly the first half of the 20th century) contained trace elements of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic periods. It was Glantz alone whose music reverberated with the sound of a new era.
  Historically, Leib Glantz was the luminary figure of his time, his cantorial compositions representing the final metamorphosis of the “Golden Era.” In addition to his vocal brilliance and personal creativity, the fusion of the traditional cantorial art form with the evolving sounds and trends of period-related classicism as well as the influence of instrumental music made Leib Glantz's enigmatic and innovative style unique amongst his peers -- a virtual beacon highlighting a pathway toward the future. He was the sole exponent of what can respectfully be called “Progressive 20th Century Cha’za’nut.” As Glantz himself once remarked, it would take several generations before his music was understood.

Excerpts from: The Music of Leib Glantz -- Post-Romantic and Extended Instrumental Techniques, by Cantor Sidney S. Dworkin, Cantor Emeritus of Congregation Sha’ar Ha’Sho’ma’yim in Montreal, Canada and past President of the Council of Chazanim of Greater Montreal.