An outstanding representative of this culture was Israel Alter (1901-1979), from 1925 to 1935 celebrated Chief Cantor of the New Synagogue in Hanover. There he recorded has famous discs of Jewish liturgical compositions for Deutsche Grammophon. He left Germany under the National Socialist regime, moving first to the main synagogue in Johannesburg and eventually to New York. The Scrapbook is a diary in which Israel Alter, who liked to mix liturgical music with secular arias in his concerts, collected contemporary reviews (in many languages), photographs and concert programmes. This high-quality facsimile reflects in world-wide public opinion the international career which took Israel Alter all the way to Carnegie Hall. It offers an insight into a unique spiritual and musical culture and portrays one of the great singers of the golden age of cantorial singing. A documentary volume is in preparation, which will shed further light on the individual items in the scrapbook.
Andor Izsak is the founder and professor of synagogal musicat the European Centre for Jewish Music, an institute at the Hanover University of Music, Drama, and Media. He is also a former lecturer at the Bela-Bartok Conservatory and the Fodor School of Music."