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Prelude for the High Holidays

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Uploaded by: Agnus_Dei (09/03/13)
Composer: Beimel, Jacob
Sample Producer: Milan Digital Audio
Sample Set: Salisbury Cathedral Father Willis
Software: Hauptwerk IV
Genre: Late Romantic / Early Modern
Jacob Beimel (1875-1944) was an American cantor, composer and musicologist. Born in Parichi, Belarus. Immigrated to the U.S. in 1915. Worked as cantor and conductor in Europe (Berlin and Copenhagen) and later in the U.S. (New York and Philadelphia). Has written many articles concerning Jewish music. Founded the Journal, Jewish Music, in which he published a few of his own compositions and adaptations (synagogue music, folk songs, and Hassidic melodies).

In the preface to the volume "Organ Music for Jewish Worship," the publishers write: In contrast to the rich literature of vocal and choral compositions, only a few organ pieces have been written for Jewish worship. Jacob Beimel, recognized this dearth of organ music especially suited for Jewish worship and composed a series of significant organ pieces.

This piece, "Prelude for the High Holidays" employs three musical themes, namely: the signals of the Shofar; the principal melody of the Evening Services; and the original chant of the Kaddish before Musaf. It is sort of like a "grand improvisation" and will probably sound more "English cathedral" than it will "American synagogue". Part of that it is in my approach, but most of it is in the music, which calls for a large, romantic organ, and his rather carefully detailed registration indications. Grand and varied and nature, from the opening calls of the Shofar (ram's horn) played upon the Solo Tuba, to the lush chromaticism of the Vox Humana and Clarinet, to the grand conclusion on the full organ.

I confess that I didn't "work this out" as thoroughly as I might have, but I wanted to share something for the High Holidays - not only to share music from a completely different tradition, but also to send greetings for happiness to all - regardless of their religious and spiritual affiliations and beliefs.

"L;Shanah Tovah Tikatevu" - "May you be inscribed (in the Book of Life) for a good year"!
Performance: Live
Recorded in: Stereo
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