Called the "Jerusalem of the North", Amsterdam was Baruch Spinoza's the native city and was home to one of the most flourishing communities of Jews in Europe, welcoming many Jews and Marranos who fled the Iberian Peninsula. In the community or in the Synagogue of the Portuguese rite called Ets Hayim (Tree of life) was held music in high esteem, and while the Hazàn (cantor) for the Shabbàt (Sabbath) was carefully selected by a competition and paid by the community to sing traditional music of the Sinague, other celebrations were accompanied by musical compositions created ad hoc by instrumentalists, singers and composers who were hired for the occasion.
One of these who was particularly well known was Cristiano Giuseppe Lidarti. An Italian in his origins, he was born in Vienna in 1730 and resided in Pisa from 1757 until his death in 1793. Lidarti was a philharmonic academician at Bologna and a rather well thought of as a composer and although there is no evidence of his having visited Amsterdam, much of his music set with Hebraic text is archived in the library of Ets Hayim.
(from the booklet by Simonetta Heger)
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