Karniol, Alter Yehiel

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KARNIOL, ALTER YEHIEL (1855–1929), ḥazzan. Born in 1855 in Dzialoszyce, Kielce province, Poland, he sang with several ḥazzanim in Hungary and then officiated in various congregations. In 1886 he was appointed ḥazzan for life by the congregation of Pecs, in Hungary, but resigned after seven years to go to the Ohab Zedek synagogue of New York. In 1898 he returned to Russia as ḥazzan of the Great Synagogue of Odessa. He refused then an invitation to join the Odessa Opera. When the pogroms broke out in 1905 he returned to the United States and was ultimately re-engaged as ḥazzan of Ohab Zedek. Karniol was noted for the extraordinary quality of his tenor which could also reach to the bass register. His style, intensely emotional, is conveyed only imperfectly in the recordings which he made in the U.S.


Jewish Ministers Cantors' Association of America, Di Geshikhte fun Khazones (1924), 181–2; E. Zaludkowski, Kultur Treger fun der Yidishe Liturgie (1930), 330–1; H.H. Harris, Toledot ha-Neginah ve-ha-Ḥazzanut be-Yisrael (1950), 450–1.

[Joshua Leib Ne'eman]