Scenic creation

Songs from Slavic lands


the niguna ensemble

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Mitteleuropa, center of Europe, crossroads of many cultures.

“Under its protective wing, oppressive and fascinating at the same time, the great Austro-Hungarian empire brought together cultures struggling against the loss of their identity. This resistance includes a love of the forbidden mother tongue. His attentiveness and incessant study of folk themes characterize the distinctive world of composers such as Janáček, Mahler and Martinů. Interpreting them means first and foremost working on your relationship with language.

Further east, it’s a story of transmission. Music says what cannot be described. In all the regimes Russia is going through, there is terror but also, beyond that, a force that sometimes implodes, sometimes explodes. What is said is said for all those who do not have the floor. Attracted by this double resistance – one to remember her language, the other to recount the forbidden she has become an artist.

magnetized by this place in the world to which I return, tirelessly, I listened again to works I knew and loved, and discovered others, written for voice, choir, violin, orchestra and piano. I called on Franck Krawczyk to help me find a path through them or, in the case of Janáček, to draw inspiration from them.
I chose a string orchestra to create the depth and tension of Rachmaninov’s Vespers and the intensity of Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, and to bring out the virtuosity of the dances and rhythmic pieces. In this way, the road we follow will take us from a tragic song to a lullaby, from a lied recounting a dream to a dance with gypsy accents, as if we were letting ourselves be led by the chapters of the same story.”


Sergei Rachmaninov, Vespers Op.37 Nunc Dimittis (arr. Vsevolod Polonsky)
Erno Dohnányi, Ruralia Hungarica (orch. F. Krawczyk) Andante rubato, alla zingaresca – Presto
Traditional Jewish song, Song in memory of Schubert (arr. S. Wieder-Atherton, orch. F. Krawczyk)
Alexander Cherepnin, Tatar Dance (orch. F. Krawczyk)
Franck Krawczyk, Jeux d’enfants n°7 after Janáček’s Moravian Folksongs
Sergei Prokofiev, The Field of the Dead (Alexander Nevsky) courtesy of Éditions du Chant du Monde
Bohuslav Martinů, Variations on a Slavic theme (arr. J.Telm) by permission of the Martinů Foundation
Gustav Malher, Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, Rückert-Lieder

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Track List

credits & thanks


Sonia Wieder-Atherton


Franck Krawczyk


Niguna Ensemble


Excerpts from Chantal Akerman’s film “À l’Est avec Sonia Wieder-Atherton” & DR

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.”