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Bryce Dessner

Publisher: Chester Music

Aheym (for chamber or string orchestra) (2009)
Chester Music Ltd
Year Composed
10 Minutes

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Programme Note
Bryce Dessner Aheym (for chamber or string orchestra) (2009)
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

Preview the score:

...enjoyable... ... an unsentimental homage to his Yiddish ancestry.
Ivan Hewett, The Daily Telegraph,10/11/2012
The surging music really impresses, particularly when guitars, strings, woodwind and brass reach full pelt...[and] chase each other around repetitive cycles.
Kitty Empire, The Observer,2/5/2012
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