This time of year always seems to bring on that yearning to hear that one song or melody from your childhood or from your previous congregation. For many years, I attended a small Sephardic shul. The melodies were very different from the ones that I had grown up with – a combination of soulful Ashkenazi chants, Debbie Friedman melodies, and contemporary choral works.
One song from the Rosh HaShanah service in particular, stuck in my mind: Et shaarei ratzon. The words and the melody seemed to meld together perfectly into a haunting piece. After moving away, Rosh HaShanah just didn’t seem complete without hearing it. I tried to find a recording of the piyut with that tune. I found many (many!) different versions from beautiful to rather odd. Yesterday, a co-worker reminded me of the site, An Invitation to Piyut. It was easy to find this piyut and I listened to all the versions on the site. But none were quite right. I gave up and decided to just listen to some other hymns. I clicked on the Yigdal page and chose Turkish High Holiday and voila! there was my Et shaarei ratzon melody! If anyone knows of a recording with the words and melody combined – please let me know!
If you are in the mood to listen to liturgical or other Jewish music, there are many sites now that are posting audio files. We collected them on our music page. And let us know your music stories.