Title: Kol Nidrei
Composer: Max Bruch
Edited By: Jeff Bradetich
Instrumentation: Solo with Piano
Pages: 9 including the bass and piano parts
Please note: The piano part is available in both original and solo tuning.
One of the mostimportant issues in determining the merit of transcriptions is if thedifferent instrument can bring the piece to life in a way that enhanceswhat the music has to say. The double bass, with its rich profoundtonal palette, can probe the depths of expression that a work like KolNidrei demands and shed new light on its meaning.
Bruch completed this composition in Liverpool before it was first published in Berlin in 1881. It is styled as an Adagio on 2 Hebrew Melodies for Cello and Orchestra with Harp and consists of a series of variations on two main themes of Jewish origin. The first theme, which also lends the piece its title, comes from the Kol Nidrei prayer recited during the evening service on Yom Kippur. In Bruch's setting of the melody, the cello imitates the rhapsodical voice of the hazzan who chants the liturgy in the synagogue. The second subject of the piece is quoted from the middle section of Isaac Nathan's arrangement of "O Weep for those that wept on Babel's stream," a lyric which was penned by Byron in a collection called Hebrew Melodies.
Check out the video below where Jeff Bradetich shares his thoughts on this work. You can also click the image below to preview or purchase a recording of Eugene Levinson performing this piece.