2 Sketches on Hebrew Themes
For Clarinet Quintet, Op.13
Alexander Krein (1883-1951) was the son of a well-known Klezmer musician. He entered the Moscow Conservatory at fourteen, taking composition lessons from Sergei Taneyev. Subsequently, he joined the Society for Jewish Folk Music and began to weave Hebraic melodies into the format of orthodox chamber works.
The Two Sketches on Hebrew Themes for Clarinet Quintet, Op.13 is the second of a set of two, both from 1914. In these works, Krein sets himself the task of introducing Jewish folk melody into a formal chamber music setting. In two movements, the opening Andante con moto immediately captures the listenerís attention with its dramatic beginning as the clarinet enters over a restless, moving accompaniment in the strings. It is a long, sad plaint with Hebraique tinges. The second movement, Allegro non troppo, is an exotic dance, clearly based on Jewish folk melody
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