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Bryce Dessner

Publisher: Chester Music

Aheym (Homeward) (2009)
Commissioned by Kronos Quartet for the Celebrate Brooklyn Festival. Premiere 12th March 2009 at the MusicNOW Festival and 18th July 2009 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Chester Music Ltd
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
String Quartet
Year Composed
10 Minutes
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Programme Note
Bryce Dessner Aheym (Homeward) (2009)
Kronos Quartet With Bryce Dessner
Aheym means ‘homeward’ in Yiddish, and this piece is written as musical evocation of the idea of flight and passage. As little boys, my brother and I used to spend hours with my grandmother, asking her about the details of how she came to America. (My father’s family were Jewish immigrants from Poland and Russia). She could only give us a smattering of details, but they all found their way into our collective imagination, eventually becoming a part of our own cultural identity and connection to the past. In her poem “Di rayze aheym,” the American-Yiddish poet Irena Klepfisz, a professor at Barnard in New York and one of the few child survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto, writes: “Among strangers is her home. Here right here she must live. Her memories will become monuments."

Aheym is dedicated to my grandmother, Sarah Dessner.

(c) Bryce Dessner

Score Sample

  • 11 OCT 2013
    Wilson Center for the Arts, Brookfield, WI, USA
    Kronos Quartet
  • 04 OCT 2013
    The Days and Nights Festival
    Sunset Center, Carmel, CA
    The Days and Nights Festival Players

    Other Dates:
    5 October - Sunset Center, Carmel, CA
  • 10 SEP 2013
    Teatro Mayor Julio Mario Santo Domingo, Bogotá, Colombia
    Kronos Quartet
  • 08 AUG 2013
    Haldern Pop Festival
    Haldern Pop Festival, Germany
  • 04 AUG 2012
    Ottawa Chamber Music Festival
    Ottawa, Canada
    Warhol Dervish String Quartet
  • 14 APR 2012
    Aheym (Homeward) Country Premiere
    Podium Festival
    Esslingen, Germany
    Etienne Abelin and Magnus Hansen, violin; Elisabeth Schwalke, viola; Michael Rauter, cello

The sensibility of his writing for string quartet is much the same as in his songs, and this translates into an incredibly interesting work.
Grant Damron,,09/12/2013
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