Yom Kippur begins at sunset on Tuesday.
One of the largest and most important parts of the Erev Yom Kippur service is the "Kol nidrei" prayer.
There are many "versions" of it, and a quite a few composers have used its theme as the basis of orchestral compositions, the most famous of these is certainly by Max Bruch (1838-1920).
The version that I've uploaded here is Louis Lewandowski's own arrangement for piano solo. I've already given quite a bit of biographical information about Lewandowski (1821-1894).
The "Kol nidre" prayer is a solemn and emotional one, and features much virtuosic display for the cantor. In the piano solo version, you hear the melody very much like it is actually sung, although the one three octave scale is not sung - at least not in this format.
The text of the prayer is as follows: "All vows we are likely to make, all oaths and pledges we are likely to take between this Yom Kippur and the next Yom Kippur, we publicly renounce. Let them all be relinquished and abandoned, null and void, neither firm nor established. Let our vows, pledges and oaths be considered neither vows nor pledges nor oaths."
Kol Nidre with its touching melodic phrases, and, in varying intensities from pianissimo (quiet) to fortissimo (loud), repeats twice (for a total of three iterations) (lest a latecomer not hear them) is a moving and even heart-wrenching moment for any devout and sincere worshipper.
It's phrases begin the most solemn day in the Jewish year - the Day of Atonement.
May all our hearts be moved to good and holy lives, and may our names be inscribed for blessing in the Book of Life.
The score is attached below, as well as two photos of Lewandowski, a page showing the actual "Kol nidre" prayer, and a photo of Max Bruch - the man who composed the well-known "variations" on this melody, and the piece that I will play (for the final time) with a solo cellist, my very good friend, Susannah Chapman.