Serge Kaufmann

The Dispossessed Mother

 

Composer, but also a man of Radio and Television, Serge Kaufmann occupies a place of his own in the musical milieu.

Born in Switzerland in 1930, of a Protestant mother and a Jewish father, Serge Kaufmann chose France as his homeland in the post-war years. At the time, a photo – The little boy of the Warsaw Ghetto – toppled his certainty, introducing in its place an introspective train of questions whose voice made itself progressively impetuous. “What would have happened to me if I had been born on the other side of the border? Would I too have shared the fate of those thousands of children whose ingenuousness disappeared in smoke? Those children who were not fortunate enough to become adults simply because they were born of Jewish parents or grandparents!” “This revelation led me to feel a relationship of close fraternity with the Jewish people”

This is how, for nearly 20 years, Serge Kaufmann, patiently but tirelessly, has enhanced the field of Jewish music by composing works whose evocative titles are: Yiddish Suite, Memorah, Matsevah, Selah, Yesod… and his works, even though they are never built on purely traditional melodies, ring undeniably Jewish!

This eighth volume in the Collection, Musical Heritage of the Jews of France, edited by the Foundation of French Judaism (FJF), presents four essential works by Serge Kaufmann: first of all, the Yiddish Suite, in an intimist version for cello and guitar, then, engraved for the first time on CD, the string trio Memorah, the sublime Neshama for solo cello, and finally the cantata Ima or the Dispossessed Mother, a cry of pain in which the quintessence of the composer’s musical art finds its expression. 

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