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“Haqqoni” and “Metaphor” – Two Benjamin Yusupov Premieres in New York

A portrait concert for the Russian-Israeli composer Benjamin Yusupov with the Ensemble Continuum will take place on 10 October 2007 at the JCC (Jewish Community Centre) in Manhattan. The composition “Haqqoni” (Crossroads No. 4) for clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano and tape will receive its world premiere. The piece combines old Oriental songs with the live sounds of a Western instrumental ensemble. The composer describes his new work as follows:

“’Haqqoni’ expands my ‘Crossroads’ cycle, representing a merging together of different cultures, musical processes and developments. Haqqoni (from the Arabic: haqq, ‘absolute truth,’ means ‘the absolute’ or ‘God;’ and from the Hebrew: hoqq, ‘law’) is a vocal genre of Bucharic music. Haqqoni are typical of Buchara and are sung by both Bucharic Jews and Moslems. Unlike the majority of Bucharic music, a Haqqoni has no fixed metre and is sung a capella, in that the couplets are performed antiphonically by two, occasionally three singers. The singers lay their hands on both sides of their mouths or use a tablet held to the mouth at an acute angle or slightly moved in order to regulate their voice and direct it in a certain direction.”

The following works by Benjamin Yusupov will also be performed at the portrait concert: “Metaphor” for solo harp (also a world premiere), Sonata for Violoncello and Piano, the Piano Trio and the String Quartet “Et ma Sheratziti.” The concert will be repeated in Queens on 13 October.


New York

“Haqqoni,” Crossroads No. 4

For clarinet, violin, violoncello, piano and tape

“Metaphor” for solo harp

Ensemble Continuum