and chamber music by Mikhail Fabianovich Gnesin (1883–1957)
Mikhail Fabianovich Gnesin (Mikhail Fabianovich Gnessin) is one of the great twentieth-century composers.
He was a founding member of the Petersburg ‘Society for Jewish Folk
Music’ (1908), a group of young Jewish composers who wanted to create
a Jewish national composers school.
Gnesin composed many significant works inspired by Jewish musical traditions.
He played an important role in the musical culture of Russia and was influential
as a music theoretician and teacher in the first half of the twentieth
century. During the Stalin regime his music was unjustly forgotten and
could only be performed much later. “The music of Gnesin will
be one of the discoveries of the twenty-first century” –A.G.
Performed by an ensemble of six musicians (with changeable personnel):
Sovali – soprano
Robinson / Michel
Marang – clarinet
Grigory Sedukh – violin / piccolo violin
Alexander Oratovski / Alexander Sagalovich – cello
Anat Fort / Marcel
Worms / Reinild
Mees / Galina Fialko / Paul Prenen / Simon
Nabatov – piano
Roberto Haliffi / Michael
Vatcher - percussion.
- October/November 2002:
concert series in various Dutch cities supported by: VSBfonds, SNS Reaal
Fonds, C.O.S., and the Maatschappij tot Nut der Israëlieten in
- November 2002: Concerts for AMJ in Geneva and for
London Arts Fest / JMI London supported by the Royal Dutch Ambassies
in Switserland and Great-Britain.
- September 2003: Concerts in St.-Petersburg and Moscow
at the ‘Days of Dutch Culture, St.-Petersburg 2003 – Window
on the Netherlands’ celebrating the 300th anniversary of St.-Petersburg
- supported by the Fund for Amateur Art and Performing Arts, the Prince
Bernhard Culture Fund, the Wilhelmina E. Jansen Fund and the Petersburg
Jewish Community Centre.
To be continued…
Dutch singer/musicologist Sofie van Lier (Sovali) discovered
Gnesin’s music in 2001 and began collecting his works with the help
of colleagues. In Gnesin she found an extremely gifted composer whose
works are characterized by melodic intensity, liveliness and artistic
Now that many of his scores have been recovered from libraries and private
collections, Gnesin’s music can be performed and heard at last.
The programme to be presented is varied and consists of two song cycles,
“Hebrew Songs” and “The Story of Red-headed Mottele”,
several pieces for chamber music ensemble, “A Nigun fun Schajke-Pfaifer”,
“Song of a Knight Errant”, “Violin Sonata”, or
“Trio”, and “Three Melodies,” and the orchestral
suite “Jewish Orchestra at the Ball of the City Mayor,” incidental
music Gnesin wrote for Meyerhold’s performance of Gogol’s
Museum “De Buitenplaats,” Eelde:
”We enormously enjoyed the fascinating programme… already
assuming that something exceptional was awaiting us … you did not
prove us wrong…The musicians inspired playing set the audience aflame
…they were ravingly enthusiastic.”
“Your appearance was a wonderful experience for all of us here
… it is one of the year’s nice souvenirs.”
“This concert really gave London the opportunity to hear the
varied output of this composer for the first time.”
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Interview Sheila Gogol / LJG sept. 2002 (PDF file)