Scenic creation

Carnet de là-bas

Sonia Wieder-Atherton and Clément Cogitore


Les Carnets de là-bas, crossed by the magic of presence

It all began in words, with the desire to bear witness to those two and a half years spent behind the Iron Curtain at the age of 19.

Behind the tribute paid to her teacher, a magnificent soloist, generous soul and discreet resistance fighter, Sonia Wieder-Atherton gives shape to a woman, a city and a whole distant world.

Les Carnets de là-bas vibrate at the crossroads of two universes that had never come close before: Sonia Wieder-Atherton’s world of music and words, inhabited by the presence of Natalia Shakhovskaya since her studies at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Conservatory in the early 1980s; and Clément Cogitore’s world of images, inspired by the cellist’s notebooks of those Soviet years. Between “pieces of memory” and fictional reconstitution, their musical tale invites us to a thrilling journey through time.

I’m sitting on the Gare du Nord train one evening, my plexus in knots…

awaiting not only the departure of the train to Moscow, but the visa that had been promised for months so that he could leave. It had to be ready that day.The embassy would have told me, “Take that train and we’ll bring the visa to the station. Is this story possible? The visa thrown out of the window by someoneone of theEmbassya few minutes before the train’s departure? Cis what I remember. But one thing is certainis that jétait 19 ans et je partais ” derrièbehind the Iron Curtain”.

And then the voice of the cello, around which the strata of time wind. A solo cello. A cello that calls for other cello voices.

You need to know this, what I’ve just told you. And that you don’tdon’t forget. You have to build on what you are, as well as on what you’re trying to find.

What you need to work on isis to dare to tearspace. The more you know how to stretch a thread to its breaking point, the more you have to work on the fear of breaking it.


Carnets de là-bas was performed at La Filature in Mulhouse, at the Tandem theater in Arras and at the Philharmonie de Paris Cité de la musique in the concert hall in April 2024.


Sonia Wieder-Atherton


Clément Cogitore


Sylvain Verdet


Alban Ho Van


Benoit Gilg and Franck Rossi


Héloïse Evano


Quentin Balpe


Production Philharmonie de Paris – Coproduction TANDEM Scène nationale Arras-Douai, La Filature Mulhouse

With the support of Fonds Les Partageurs



Delegated production WALTER FILMS Co-production LA CITÉ DE LA MUSIQUE – PHILHARMONIE DE PARIS Directed by Clément Cogitore Montage Benjamin Mirguet Text and voice Sonia Wieder-Atherton Soundtrack creation Sonia Wieder-Atherton Accompanied by Franck Rossi Sound recording Benoit Gilg Calibration Quentin Balpe

New release

BACH: Cello Suites Nos. 3 & 4

“It’s a question of digging into the string until the phrase is born, along with its right breath. A sentence in perpetual becoming. It never stops being made and remade. I waited a long time to record them. And then one day, or rather one night, I began.”