In today’s Daily Inspiration, cellist Denis Brott plays Divertimento in D Major, II. Menuet, by Gregor Piatigorsky.
Denis is the one who ushers in Yom Kippur for us, with his stirring rendition of Kol Nidrei (composed by Max Bruch). Each year, he shares his talent with us – but even more than that, he shares his heart and soul. For me, and I imagine for many of you, it is the sound of Denis’ cello, and the sight of his hands holding the bow across the strings, that makes the holiness of the day hit home.
It is worth noting that the composer Denis chose to feature in this recording, Gregor Piatigorsky, was also a cellist. Denis Brott started to play the cello at the age of eight; Gregor Piatigorsky, at the age of seven. Born into a Jewish family in Ukraine in 1903, Piatigorsky smuggled himself and his cello out of Soviet Russia, fled Nazi-occupied France, and eventually settled in the United States. His story is one of resilience, hard work, and talent. Out of difficult circumstances, he created beautiful music. The piece featured today shows the joy in his composition, played so expressively by Denis Brott.
You may have seen in the news that Denis is currently in hospital, struggling to recover from COVID-19. His family has asked that we keep him in our prayers. Please join me in doing so. May the strength and passion that Denis brings us each year at Kol Nidrei, help bring him to a full recovery. May his family have hope, and may his doctors have wisdom. And may he, along with all others who are suffering from this pandemic, have healing of body and healing of spirit. To this we say: Amen.