16 music books, some with handwritten liturgical scores tucked inside, and some completely handwritten by Moses Mester. The printed books include Jewish liturgical music and folk songs, as well as a German volume about classical secular music. The published materials are in Russian, German, Hebrew …
16 music books, some with handwritten liturgical scores tucked inside, and some completely handwritten by Moses Mester. The printed books include Jewish liturgical music and folk songs, as well as a German volume about classical secular music. The published materials are in Russian, German, Hebrew and Yiddish. The collection also includes 2 paper tickets from cantorial performances in Latvia, 1 handbill from Latvia, and 2 old group photos of Montreal cantors, the originals of two of the images used in the illustrated tribute book Chazzanut in Montreal (by A. Subar, 1971.)
History / Biographical
Moses Master (original name: Mester) was born on July 15, 1894, in Lublin, Poland. At a very young age he left his classical musical studies to became an itinerant hazzan (cantor), leading services for holidays in various towns and cities. When in Latvia he met his future wife, Josephine Brenner. World War I broke out, and he and the family (his wife's family) fled to Russia, where he continued his studies of voice and music at the Moscow Conservatory. After the war the family returned to Latvia, where he was hired as hazzan in a large synagogue in Riga. Their two daughters, Esther and Rosa, were born during this period, Esther in Riga and Rosa in Libau. Moses Master came to Montreal in 1924 at the invitation of the Adath Jeshurun Congregation via a friend, a Mr. Abramovitch who arranged for his passage and immigration to Montreal. Arriving on the eve of Rosh Hashona, family stories tell, he was met by members of the congregation and they all walked from the port to the synagogue, which at that time was on St. Urbain Street at the corner of Mount Royal. His wife and two daughters later followed him from Riga to Canada, arriving in Halifax on Dec. 5, 1925. Two other children were born to them in Montreal, Alice and Gershon (Gary). Moses Master was cantor at the Adath Jeshurun Congregation for 33 years, from the time he arrived in Canada until his retirement. He died in Montreal on April 23, 1980, four years after his wife, who passed away in 1976. (Source: Esther Master Berman.)
The collection was donated by Mrs. Esther Master Berman on Nov. 11, 2009.
Some documents are fragile.P09/26.Russian, German, Hebrew and Yiddish.Adds to our original holdings on Jewish liturgical and popular music in Canada, and includes two excellent quality images of Montreal cantors.