Bruch was inspired to write Kol Nidrei after hearing the Jewish prayers "Kol Nidrei" and "Oh Weep For Those That Wept on Babel's Stream", and even consulted a cantor while writing it. The first half of Bruch's Kol Nidrei is based on the melody of the Jewish prayer Kol Nidrei and the second half is based on the melody of Oh Weep For Those That Wept on Babel's Stream. In Judaism, the prayer Kol Nidrei is one of the most holy and also most painful prayers. In the prayer, one asks god for forgiveness and atonement for any broken vows they have made with god in the past year. Oh Weep For Those That Wept on Babel's Stream tells the story of when the Jews were prisoners and slaves in Babylon. It is a very somber prayer which tells of how the Jewish people were taken from their land and are crying while reminiscing of how life used to be and that it will never be the same. Bruch intended the solo part to emulate the voice of the cantor singing the prayers. In light of this I always think of the pain and sadness with which the cantor sings these prayers (often with tears in his eyes) when I play this piece.
- Complete score
1. Winds and Percussion
Homerdundas 14:43, 5 September 2012 (EDT)