Ensemble Calliopée | “Les États-Unis, Terre d’accueil” #5

The 5th concert of Ensemble Calliopée‘s residency at the FEU on the theme of “The United States, Land of Welcome” highlights pieces and composers related to Jewish culture in all its diversity. Their history is intimately linked to exile from Russia, Germany or Romania to the New World. This program features rarely performed pages such as Joseph Achron’s Children Suite, the French premiere of this piece. A small jewel of great tenderness, this sextet is inspired by traditional musical motifs of Hebrew cantillation and was composed upon the Lithuanian composer’s arrival in New York in 1925. His 1911 Hebrew Melody, inspired by a song heard in a Warsaw synagogue, became a standard of the great violinist Jasha Eifetz. Another discovery, a work from Kurt Weill‘s youth, his String Quartet op.8, the second of only three chamber music works in his repertoire. Written at the age of 23, still a student of Ferruccio Busoni in Berlin, Kurt Weill already showed the theatrical spirit that would later enliven The Threepenny Opera, before he was forced to leave his country, victim of an autodafé in 1933. Another discovery is the quintet of the contemporary Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov, Dreams and prayers of Isaac the blind. Inspired by Klezmer music, it is based on the kabbalistic writings of the Chief Rabbi of Provence in the 12th century. The famous Overture on Jewish Themes by Serge Prokoviev, himself exiled after the Russian Revolution of 1917, is inspired by a notebook of Hebrew melodies. It premiered in New York in 1919 by former students of Prokoviev’s from St. Petersburg, reunited at the Zimro Ensemble, advocate of Jewish popular music.

Free admission upon reservation:


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Sergei PROKOVIEV (1891-1953), Overture on Jewish Themes for clarinet, string quartet and piano (1919)

Kurt WEILL (1900-1950), String quartet, op.8  (1923)

Osvaldo GOLIJOV (1960), Dreams and prayers of Isaac the blind for clarinet and string quartet (1994)

Joseph ACHRON (1886-1943), Hebrew Melody for violin and piano (1911)

Joseph ACHRON (1886-1943), Children Suite op.57  for clarinet, string quartet and piano (1925)

The Musicians

With Ensemble Calliopée Anna Göckel and Christophe Giovaninetti, violins, Karine Lethiec, viola
And young resident musicians from the Fondation des États-Unis, Mosa Tsay and Alexa Ciciretti, cellos, Elias Rodriguez, clarinet, Suejin Jung and Daniel Schreiner, piano

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