The Seven Little Lanes (2021)

watch two minutes of excerpts from the premiere:

The Seven Little Lanes (2021)
seven portraits of Vilnius, inspired by the writings of Chaim Grade
for fadolín and accordion
commissioned by Muzika Erdvėje Festival, Vilnius, Lithuania

1. The Return
2. The Shoe-mender
3. The Child-doctor
4. Number 9
5. Spider-web
6. Toppled synagogues
7. Neilah

“The Seven Little Lanes” is inspired by the memoirs of the Vilna-born poet and writer Chaim Grade (1910-1982). Grade escaped the Holocaust and resettled in New York, but his mother and first wife perished in it. In Grade’s “Seven Little Lanes” (published as part of “My Mother’s Sabbath Days”, 1955), he writes about returning to the Vilna Ghetto, reconnecting with survivors who knew his family, recounting the horror of perseverance and of staying in place, he visits old synagogues, the single remaining one and all others inescapable from memory, with everything culminating in the Neilah, the final prayer of the Yom Kippur service — there is so much more, but you really should read the book instead of my poor-man’s retelling. (The original was written in Yiddish, and I’m aware of translations published in English and Russian.)

My composition, for fadolín and accordion, in seven short movements mirroring Grade’s literary form, offer musical portraits of the Vilna Ghetto, inspired by Grade’s recollections and my own walks. It is a concert piece written as incidental music to a theater play, hoping that one day “Seven Little Lanes” will be adapted as such.

I am very grateful to Musika Erdvėje for the commision, the idea of writing a site-specific work and support of the premiere, and to accordionist Agnė Dukštaitė for her artistry and input.

CATEGORY chamber music
INSTRUMENTATION fadolín and accordion
DURATION 18 minutes
WORLD PREMIERE September 9, 2021
Holocaust Exposition (The Green House), Vilnius LT
Agnė Dukštaitė (accordion)

October 18, 2021 at Barbès, Brooklyn
with Ljova (fadolín) and Ivan Filipchyk (accordion)
see for details on this performance

RECORDING not yet – but see excerpts from the premiere, in the video above
SCORE AVAILABILITY All arrangements are available for sale via PDF or mail delivery; arrangements for combinations not listed above may be commissioned on request. [contact for more info]