Scenic creation

JEWISH SONGS

WITH

BRUNO FONTAINE (PIANO)

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ABOUT

Two evenings of Russian poetry.

“This cycle of Jewish songs grew out of my research into Jewish liturgical music. A music with such ancient roots, which has accompanied the Jewish people through centuries of peregrinations. I was interested in melodies from different sources, but what really inspired me was the singing of the cantors, or hazans, and its inner, intimate expressiveness, yet containing such power of expression.

In this music, the popular and the sacred merge. Whether happy or sad, slow or fast, prayer, folk song or dance, it’s always about sharing and intimacy. It felt like I’d known this music all my life, since before I was born, and it was a strange feeling.

After this cycle, I wanted to stay in the intimacy created by the storyteller, and I chose to turn to Spain and South America, with Montsalvatge, Salgan and Piazzolla. In these parts of the world, every important moment in life is an occasion for song and dance, but with a very different relationship to rhythm. Rhythm is always present, whether in a lullaby, a ballad or, of course, a tango.

And finally, Britten’s extraordinary 1961 sonata, which for me resonates in a mysterious way with the rest of the program.
It seems to continue the “conversation” from the beginning of the evening, to be a response to theElegy, and to end with a finale whose rhythmic, ricocheting bow stroke is strangely reminiscent of Salgan’s Tango.”

“This cycle of Jewish songs grew out of my research into Jewish liturgical music. A music with such ancient roots, which has accompanied the Jewish people through centuries of peregrinations.”

PROGRAM

Cycle of traditional Jewish songs, arrangements by Sonia Wieder-Atherton and Jean-François Zygel, Prayer, Question, Psalm, Kaddish, Conversation, Elegy, Dance
Jean-François Zygel, Nigun, Psalmodie
Dmitri Shostakovich, 4 Preludes for Cello and Piano and Sonata Op. 40 for Cello and Piano
Xavier Montsalvatge, Cradle song for a little black boy
Horacio Salgan, A fuego lento
Astor Piazzolla, Ballade pour un fou (Ballad for a madman)
Benjamin Britten, Sonata for cello and piano in C major

FOURTEEN STORIES

I. Kol Nidre

II. Question

III. Psalm

IV. Conversation

V. Nigun

VI. Prayer

VII. Song

VIII. Kaddish

IX. Psalmody

X. Chemah

XI. Uncertainty

XII. Dance

XIII. Hassidic song

XIV. Elegy

Track List

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credits & thanks

CONCEPTION & CELLO

Sonia Wieder-Atherton, assisted by Quentin Balpe

PIANO

Bruno Fontaine

ARRANGEMENTS AND COMPOSITION

Sonia Wieder-Atherton and Jean François Zygel

TEXT WRITTEN BY

Sonia Wieder-Atherton

PHOTOS & VIDEO

Excerpt from the film “Chantal Akerman films Sonia Wieder-Atherton”, by Chantal Akerman, DR and Richard Dumas

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.”