Our CD was recorded in 2012, but we have been adapting our music and our repertoire according to our voices and our audiences continually ever since as many of our performances take place on Shabbat, we are now mostly known for our a cappella harmonies! Please visit Book Us  for more information (and email us to request a link to see clips of our most recent live performances).   The details below explain the tracks recorded on our charity CD and enable you to listen to a sample of each of the tracks.

To obtain a copy of our CD, please donate to our chosen charities and we’ll gladly send you a copy in the post.


ADON OLAM

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INSTRUMENTAL & ACAPELLA (SOLOMON LINDA ‘MBUBE’)

Probably written by a Spanish poet in the 11th Century, ‘Master of the World’ delights in the majesty of God. The African roots of the tune, which was written by a Zulu musician in 1939, tie in well with the theme of our fundraising efforts for WaterAid.

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On the day of George’s barmitzvah itself we were asked to sing a few songs during Havdalah and we somehow managed to think of putting the poem, Adon Olam, to the tune of ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’! I very much enjoy this version because it’s not what one would expect.


HAMALACH HAGOEL

      

BEREISHIT 48:16 (ABIE ROTTENBERG)

The lyrics are of the blessing that Jacob gave to his grandsons Ephraim and Menashe. With his hands placed on their heads, Jacob prayed to God for the protection of his grandsons, praying that they would identify with the traditions and values of their forefathers, and that they would multiply. It is often sung as a lullaby to children.

George and I first started practising this song together when we were meant to be revising for our exams! We spent a long time perfecting the harmonies for this song, and what we have created is certainly one of my favourites.
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TOV LEHODOT

      

TEHILLIM, PSALM 92 (MIAMI BOYS CHOIR)

This psalm highlights the importance of us appreciating all of the wonderful things God does for us. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing his praises!”

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One of the things I love so much about this tune is the fact that it is more upbeat than some of the other songs, reflecting its positive message. It was the first song we did on our own, and was a sort of springboard – once we had compiled and sung the harmonies this gave us the confidence to continue working on more songs.


IVDU ET HASHEM

      

TEHILLIM 100 (YITZCHOK ROSENTHAL)

The lyrics of this song include the words “simcha”, translated as joy, and “reena” as jubilation. The difference is that joy is said to be a continuous state of achieved happiness and jubilation is a burst of momentary happiness. Both should be applicable in the way we serve God.

 

What I really like about this version is the harmonies that we put into it. My favourite part is what we call ‘the big Ivdu’, ie. the 3rd repetition of the verse where we are all singing together. I also really enjoy the acapella ending.
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SHIR HAMAALOT

      

TEHILLIM 126 (JOHANN PACHELBEL)

Psalm 126 is one of a group of 15 psalms known as the Pilgrim Psalms, each of which begins with the introductory phrase Shir Hamaalot, ‘Song of Ascent’. This particular one is the most popular, as it is used to precede the Grace After Meals on Shabbat and festivals. The lyrics include: “When the Lord bought us out of captivity, we were like people in a dream”, which is perhaps why this particular psalm was a serious contender for Israel’s national anthem.

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I have always loved this tune since I first heard it being sung by Asher and his family when we met on holiday, and I was excited to recreate the harmonies as a foursome.


ESA EINAI

      

TEHILLIM, PSALM 121 (YITZCHOK ROSENTHAL)

Esa Einai is a beautiful song incorporating the words “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains… my help will come from the Lord”. The lyrics encourage us to draw closer to God.

 

It has a calming slow rhythm which makes it one of my favourites. I love how the beginning is quite low and then suddenly, the music bursts into life with a huge contrast of pitch. The tune is very peaceful and good to listen to when calming down after a long day at work or school – I would know!

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MODEH ANI

      

(YIYZCHOK ROSENTHAL OF SHALSHELES)

This prayer not only proclaims our faith in God, but also God’s faith in us which instills a sense of value to our lives. It makes us appreciate that God wakes us because He has a purpose for us, so we start our day by saying: “Thank you, God, that I’m alive this morning to live another day!”

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Modeh Ani means a lot to me as it’s the first song I ever learnt. It connects me to my earliest childhood and is a reminder at the start of each day of the power of my relationship with Hashem.


IM ESHKACHECH

      

TEHILIM, PSALM 137 (BEN SNOOF)

The Lyrics of Im Eshkachech Yerushalayim explain how, even in our greatest moment of joy, we should be mindful that the Temple in Jerusalem remains unfulfilled, and the world unperfected. “If I forget you, O Jerusalem, may my right hand wither.”

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While we were excitedly preparing the song list for this CD, I thought we should be true to the message of this song and include it in our selection.

 



KEDUSHA

      

ARR CANTOR ERNEST LEVY & JEREMY LAWSON

The Musaf Kedusha has in many communities included the first and last line of the Shema since the 6th Century, after the rulers of the Byzantine Empire outlawed the public recitation of the Shema.   Instead of reciting it during Shacharit, it was slipped into the Musaf Kedusha as it was assumed that the government spies would either have left the service by this point or would no longer be paying attention.

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Under the leadership of Cantor Ernest Levy, Jeremy first sang these melodies as a child himself in Glasgow.  We were all very excited to see how as we rehearsed we were able to recreate the melodies and turn his vision into reality.  When we finally sung it on the day of my Barmitzvah, it felt like we had created something very special.

EIN KELOHEINU

      

TZVI TALMON, ARR RAYMOND GOLDSTEIN & STEPHEN GLASS

This prayer ‘There is none like our God’, is believed to have been composed to further our ability to show gratitude to God.  Talmon’s composition simultaneously evokes a mood of both great joy and ethereal solace, befitting when reflecting on the hymn’s majesty and praise of God.

 

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This song is particularly special for me because each Shabbat it gives me a different feeling.   I love how Jeremy and I sing separately until the beautiful crescendo at the end.

MOCHEL AVONOT

      

ARR STEPHEN GLASS

This prayer is an introduction to the thirteen attributes of God’s kindness and compassion and we ask Him to forgive our sins.

 

 

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For many years, I used to listen in awe to Sammy Talalay, the boy who sang this before me and, for the last 3 years it has been a dream come true to sing such an important prayer.

 

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All enquiries are welcome by email: music@the4sons.com

All tracks were recorded and mixed in the Kedma studio, Borehamwood, October-December 2012. 

Musical arrangements and keyboards by Yuval Havkin.

Vocal arrangements by George Rosenfeld, Yuval Havkin and The 4 Sons.

Mixed by Yuval and Lior Havkin.

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