This page will link you a selection from Baruch Skeer's "Amidah", completed in 1986 and premiered at a private wedding by a solo quartet (Cindy Richards Wallace,
Gregory Purnhagen) in August of 1994.
The selection, approximately 15 seconds of music, is the opening page of the score.
The text for "Amidah" can be found at the end of Shemoneh Esrei, and was written by Mar, son of Rabina, a fourth-century rabbi. It is a silent prayer that is only recited by an individual, and is not said during the "repetition of the Amidah" by the Cantor or other Reader. As such, this setting of a religious text cannot be used during a religious service.
"Amidah" was originally written as a solo quartet epilogue to the Jewish opera, "Love and Idols", composed in 1986. The opera is scored for four voices and piano, and in the last two pages of the score, the piano re-enters for what may be called the most terrifying entrance in the history of opera. As a choral piece, this entrance is eliminated, and if a full chorus is used, four solo voices are used only briefly at the end.
"Love and Idols" contains three major a cappella moments, one at the beginning, a brief moment a few pages later, and this major piece at the end. As an early work, however, "Amidah" is cast in a vertical, Western, block choral style that the composer has since abandoned in favor of independent, horizontal lines, such as in the 1994 Prelude a l'apres-midi Noces, written for solo quartet, and the work-in-progress oratorio Yisroayl B'Mitzroyim. Because of the beauty of the text and the heart-felt emotion of the music, and because the piece is of minimal difficulty for an amateur chorus, Not Nice Music has chosen to keep the work in its catalog. The entire piece is 4:30 in duration, and printed on fourteen back-to-back 8 1/2" x 11" pages. Copies of the full score can be obtained, at cost, for $2US ($4 for four) (checks payable to Barry Drogin). Send a check and your address to Barry Drogin, 720 Greenwich Street #5T, NY, NY 10014. Postage and handling is included.
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