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Caceres (Casseres), Abraham

CACERES (Casseres), ABRAHAM (first half of the 18th century), Dutch composer. Caceres' name is found for the first time in 1718 as composer of the music for the annual celebration of the Amsterdam Talmud study fraternity, Lekaḥ Tov. In 1726 he provided the music for the consecration of the Ḥonen Dal synagogue at The Hague. In 1730–31 Immanuel Ḥai *Ricchi included in his Sefer Hon Ashir two melodies set down by Caceres. His reputation as the leading musician of the Portuguese community of Amsterdam is confirmed in the enthusiastic description by David *Franco-Mendes of the feast of Simḥat Torah of 1738, where Caceres appears as composer and accompanist of the cantata Le-El Elim, the text of which was written by M.Ḥ. *Luzzatto. In the probably posthumous manuscript 49 B 22 of the "Ets Haim" library of Amsterdam, which contains this cantata, the composer is described as the "celebrated R. Abm. Casseres." The same manuscript includes the choral piece Ḥishki Ḥizki for three voices, with instrumental accompaniment ad libitum to words written by Isaac Aboab for the inauguration of the Amsterdam synagogue in 1675. A third composition by Caceres which has survived is the Ha-Mesi'aḥ Illemim from the morning prayer for Sabbath and festivals for two voices with basso continuo and two violins doubling the voices ("Ets Haim" library, Ms. 49 A 14).

As far as can be gauged from his few surviving compositions, Caceres had a solid musical training. His music expresses tenderness rather than strong emotion. Even in his Ḥishki Ḥizki, which is modeled on the Protestant chorale, he chooses a gracious melodic line. Numerous imitations and adaptations of his compositions were made during the second half of the 18th century.


Adler, Prat Mus, 1 (1966), index.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.