Jewish Miniatures, Volume 136A
Among the musicians who revolutionized and modernized synagogue music during the 19th century, three stand out as the most influential ones: Salomon Sulzer (1804–1890) in Vienna, Samuel Naumbourg (1817–1880) in Paris and Louis Lewandowski (1821–1894) in Berlin. Naumbourg was born in Bavaria and integrated into the intellectual society of Paris. He was moved by a deep love for the traditional Jewish chants of Southern Germany and a keen awareness that the Emancipation of French Jewry called for a new kind of synagogue music. His cantorial compendia "Semiroth Yisrael" and "Agudath Shirim" included many old chants and numerous new compositions by Naumbourg himself and by his friends, among them Jacques Fromental Halévy. Naumbourg was also a pioneer in searching for the historical roots of Jewish music.