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Seven Nuptial Blessings
For piano duet.
In August 2004 my brother-in-law a professional conductor married a concert pianist. Their unforgettable wedding held at London's Arts Club was a wonderful opportunity to experience a real Jewish wedding, complete with a Klesmer band and much feasting and dancing. My gift to such inspiring musicians was this seven-movement work for piano duet, surely the most intimate of all musical combinations!

The Seven Nuptial Blessings or Sheva Brachot form the centerpiece of the marriage ceremony. They are recited as part of the wedding ceremony, at the conclusion of the wedding feast, and at certain meals which are held in the week following the wedding. In the ceremony the officiating rabbi fills a glass of vine and starts reading the seven blessings. Everybody has to answer "Amen" after every blessing. The bride and groom drink from the wine.. When the Seven Blessings are read the couple are officially married, and a groom breaks a glass in symbolic memory of the destroyed temple.

The music in this score unashamedly makes reference to bell-like chords in Igor Stravinsky's Les Noces, It was found that by combining the letters of the couple's first names with that of the groom's recently married brother and sister-in-law two Stravinskyian six note chords appeared. These chords announce each Blessing, except in the Sixth Blessing where the connection with Les Noces becomes explicit, not only in the style of the piano writing, but in a quotation (found in bars 63-65) from the final pages of that score that wonderfully contain these two chords.

Bride and groom must be the only married couple to have given a world premiere on the wedding day, playing at their wedding party the music for the Sixth Blessing they had only received less than 24 hours before!

 

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Nigel Morgan, Prudential Buildings, 55 Westgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, WF1 1BW, United Kingdom Tel: 01924 383017 e-mail: tonalitysystems@mac.com

This website and associated content 2013 Nigel Morgan unless otherwise stated.