Joseph Achron


Hebrew Lullaby for Violin & Piano, Op.35 No.2

Joseph Achron (1886-1943) was born in the Lithuanian town of Lodzdzieje (now Lazdijai). He studied violin with his father and then at the Warsaw Conservatory with Isadore Lotto and finally at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Leopold Auer, teacher of such stars as Heifetz, Milstein and many others. Achron knew Heifetz and the two became friends with Heifetz championing Achron's music. After graduation, Achron pursued a career as a soloist, concertizing throughout Russia and Europe, Palestine and America. He taught and served as director of the Kharkov Conservatory and subsequently moved to Hollywood. Throughout his life, he composed. Most of his works are for violin and piano, however, he also wrote in several other genres.


Hebrew Lullaby is the second of two works composed at the same time in 1912. It was a period in which Achron sought to create a new kind of Jewish style which while drawing on folk melody assimulated traditional elements within a sophisticated overall synthesis. The lullaby is a meditative nocturne based on a rising three note motif from a folk song. The music is veiled in several textures with much counterpoint over a pedal bass


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