A Nigun Must be Precise

A Moment with the Rebbe: As Reb Yosef Marton of Kfar Chabad prepared for a historic concert, a surprising letter arrived.

In 5723 (1963) a rare opportunity arose. A great festival of Hebrew music was being organized at the famous amphitheater on the prestigious Caesarean harbor, and Chabad was invited to participate.

Reb Yosef Marton of Kfar Chabad, a gifted Lubavitcher musician, was appointed to lead the presentation. For the first time, chassidisher niggunim would be sung accompanied by a grand orchestra and an impressive choir. The political and cultural leaders of the country would be in attendance ­– indeed a breakthrough in hafatzas hama’ayanos.

A six-voice chorus of adult and children voices was planned, each carrying different notes of a magnificent harmony.

Until a letter arrived. The Rebbe instructed that the choir sing the same notes, in order to retain the precision of the niggunim; musical creativity should be left to the orchestra.

(Sipur Ishi, page 260)

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