jonathan berger

tears in your hand


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associate professor of music, stanford university

Tears in Your Hand
for piano trio (2006)
commissioned by The Gryphon Trio
for premiere at: Stanford University, January 7 2007

The title, Tears in Your Hand aludes to a line from the Yiddish song Unter Dyne Vyse
Shetern, (Under the White Stars) by Abraham Sutsever written in 1943 in the Vilna
Ghetto. Although never explicitly quoted, ghostly and distorted fragments of the
melody are woven through the piece shadowing and blurring the musical gestures. The
work was commissioned by the Gryphon Trio in 2006.
An audio excerpt of the song, sung by Hava Alberstein is available here.

Read Rebecca Wallace's preview piece from the Palo Alto Weekly.

Unter Dayne Vayse Shtern (Under Your White Stars)

Sutzkever and Budno (1943)
Nemen yogn mikh meshune
Trep un hoyfn mit gevoy
Heng ikh a geplatste strune
Un ikh zing tsu dir azoy
Unter dayne vayse shtern
Shtrek tsu mir dayn vayse hant
Mayne verter zaynen trern
Viln ruen in dayn ha

I am chased by evil spirits.
They goad me on stairways and in courtyards
I have only a broken violin string
with which to sing to you:
Under Your white stars
extend your white hand to me
My words are tears
which want to rest in Your hand

for performance materials contact:

All audio materials are protected by copyright. Please obtain permission before using any audio files for any purposes other than individual audition.
1987-2006. All rights reserved, Jonathan Berger and/or Maor Music Publications (ASCAP)

The Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics - Stanford University

jonathan berger