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"Prelude a l'apres-midi Noces"

This page will link you to a selection from Baruch Skeer's "Prelude a l'apres-midi Noces", completed in 1994 and premiered at a private wedding by a solo quartet (Cindy Richards Wallace, Jennifer Lane, James Bassi, Gregory Purnhagen) in August of 1994. The selection, approximately 30 seconds of music, is the music leading up to and including the first appearance of the bride.

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About the Piece

The text for "Prelude a l'apres-midi Noces" is from a traditional blessing used to welcome the bride and groom during Jewish wedding ceremonies, as well as quotations from Genesis XXIX, 18, 20, 22, 23 and 25, which describe Jacob's encounters with Laban and his two daughters, Leah and Rachel. The work contains three sections: the entrance of the wedding party, culminating in the appearance of the bride, the processional to the Huppah, and the seven circles of the bride around the groom. The first and second sections are intended to be separated by the Bedeken de Kallah ceremony.

About the Piece's Origins

The piece was written for a wedding, and was used during the ceremony. A professional quartet was hired, and a recording exists.

About the Music

This is introductory music intended for use in a real ceremony. As such, the music does not work as a stand-alone concert piece, and there is no sense of closure or completeness about the music. The opening catches the audience's attention as the text talks about Laban gathering a crowd for a wedding feast. The music for the bride's appearance is particularly moving and lovely. The second section, "Blessed is he who has come," contains a Hebrew pun, for the groom's name was Baruch. The third section comprises a pseudo-minimal vamp with a loosely moored modal melody sung by the soprano on top. The text links the bride circling the groom seven times to Jacob's serving Laban for seven years in order to be allowed to marry Rachel. The text ends, "To him they seemed but a few days, for the love he had to her." Although not a major work in the Not Nice Music catalog, the piece can be used to enhance any wedding. The entire piece is 7 minutes in duration, and printed on nine accordion-style manuscript pages. Copies of the full score can be obtained, at cost, for $8US ($25 for four) (checks payable to Not Nice Music). Send a check and your address to Not Nice Music, 720 Greenwich Street #5T, NY, NY 10014. Postage and handling is included.

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    Last Updated: November 23, 2008