ACHO'T KETAN'A, (Little Sister), 2000, for 3 solo violins, soprano and string orchestra with clarinet

Commissioned by the Yehudi Menuhin Memorial Foundation - USA, 2000
Publisher: Israel Music Institute, 2000, IMI 7439 | Duration: 6'20 min.

A New year prayer written in the thirteenth century by Avraham Gerondi of the Catalonian town of Herona. The ”little sister” is a symbol of the soul of the world, the people of Israel.

The Soprano part is based upon a traditional anonymous setting of this prayer, written probably towards the end of the 16th century, which is sung by Florentine Jews on Rosh Hashana.

This tune is fused into the dense texture of the String Orchestra, while the three solo violins draw, like a remote reminiscence, torn fragments from the opening chords of the Chaconne from the Partita number 2 for solo violin by J.S. Bach.

The work was commissioned in 2002 by the ”Yehudi Menuhin Foundation” and is dedicated to the memory of the great violinist.


Between Nationalism and Postmodernism: Betty Olivero’s Achot Ketana and Zimaar / Anat Viks >>

Acho’t Ketan’a


Achot ketana tefiloteha

Orcha ve’ona tehiloteha

El na refa na le’machaloteha

Tichle shana ve’kileloteha

El na refa na le’machaloteha

Tichle shana ve’kileloteha.



Little Sister


The little sister prepares her prayers

And intones her praises.

O God, we beseech Thee,

Heal now her infirmities.

May the year and its misfortunes

Now cease altogether.

© 2019 by Betty Olivero

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