Mayn Shvester Khaye

Year of Premiere: 
2008
Composer: 
David Stock

World premiere: May 12, 2008, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, WA, at Music of Remembrance's Holocaust Remembrance Day concert.

David Stock's second commission for Music of Remembrance is an arrangement of a song by the immensely popular (with over 40 albums in Hebrew, six in Yiddish) Israeli singer Chava Alberstein. Born in Szczecin, Poland, Alberstein grew up hearing Yiddish; her family moved to Israel when she was only four years old. She knew the poet who wrote "Mayn Shvester Khaye," fellow Pole Binem Heller (1906-1998), personally. He wrote the poem for his sister Khaye, who died in Treblinka. As a child herself, she looked after Heller and his brothers while their mother worked. He wrote in Yiddish, his mother-tongue. Stock's arrangement is for mezzo-soprano, clarinet, and string quartet, and was made possible by a generous gift from Rabbi James Mirel.