Ernest Bloch – Prayer, from Jewish Life


Swiss-born composer Ernest Bloch spent much of his life in America, composing work heavily influenced by his Jewish upbringing. From Jewish Life is a perfect example of this compositional style, a three movement suite that contains folksong references and much modal material. The opening four note motif heard in Prayer is a direct quote used at the Hymn of Petition, sung in a traditional Ashkenazi synagogue, the ensuing musical material has influenced other prayer songs still used today in the Reform liturgy.

Originally written for cello and piano, I have arranged this piece so that the first guitar plays solely the cello part and the second guitar plays the piano accompaniment, filling out the harmony. I have transposed the original score from Bb minor to G minor, tuning the second guitar to both D and G, allowing the instrument to resonate fully. Everything fits comfortably under the left hand, fingering and articulation markings are included in the score.