Samuel Cohen (composer)

Samuel Cohen (composer)

Samuel Cohen was an Jewish Palestinian immigrant from Bessarabia, best remembered for his arrangement of the Israeli National Anthem, Hatikvah. In 1882, while living in Rishon LeZion, Cohen put a poem by Naftali Herz Imber to music for which he claimed to have taken the melody from an unidentified Moldavian folk song. Indeed, the melody bears close resemblance to the Moldavian and Romanian folk-song "Carul cu Boi" (The Cart with Oxen) and also to other Romanian songs using the same notes: "Song of may" (Cântec de mai = Luncile s-au deşteptat) or " Maize with up-standing leaves' - Cucuruz cu frunza-n sus") The melody with subtle variations and different especially in the second part is also known in several other cultures (cf. an Italian Renaissance song "La Mantovana", the Swedish song "Oh,Vaermeland", the
Ukranian folk-song "Kateryna Kucheryava", or Curlyhaired Catherine)) and was used by Bedřich Smetana in his symphonic poem "Die Moldau/Vltava".

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