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Lullaby and Doina for flute, clarinet, and strings was commissioned by the Boston Symphony Chamber Players - Golijov is an associate professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, and he is on the faculties of the Boston Conservatory and the Tanglewood Music Center - and was premiered by them a year ago.
"This piece starts with a set of variations on a Yiddish lullaby that I composed for Sally Potter's film The Man Who Cried, set to function well in counterpoint to another important music theme in the soundtrack: Bizet's aria "Je crois entendre encore," from The Pearl Fishers," Golijov says. "In her evocative film Sally explores the fate of Jews and Gypsies in the tragic mid-years of the 20th century, through a love story between a Jewish young woman and a Gypsy young man. Accordingly, the theme of the lullaby here metamorphoses into a dense and dark doina (a slow, rubato gypsy genre) featuring the lowest string of the viola. The piece ends in a fast gallop boasting a theme that I stole from my friends of the wild gypsy band Taraf de Haidouks. The theme is presented here in an almost canonical chase where the clarinet pursues the flute-violin combination flying away."