Trees / Requiem


  • André Markowicz (poet, translator)
  • & Sonia Wieder-Atherton (cellist)

André Markowicz was invited by Jean Bellorini to the TNP in Villeurbanne for a carte blanche. He offered to share two evenings of Russian poetry with me. It was on 21 and 22 January 2022.


poems by Marina Tsvetaeva

music by Stravinsky, Berio, Bach, et Boris Tchaikovsky

The first thing to do is to enter Tsvetaeva’s language, to hear her repeated, obsessive accents. To hear the accumulation of words and consonants, to feel the language like a fruit from which one would like to extract the juice to the last drop. To hear the sound of stone, the sound of dry heather. To hear the sound of the grey colour, the sound of old age, the sound of the wind. To hear the exhaustion of the beast, to hear its ode to the trees, to hear the trees rise to open their lungs to the sky. And this language, through André’s voice, will meet the music, the cello, sometimes the two intertwining, sometimes the music dashing off alone. Guided by André, the sounds would lead us to the meaning, so we will move forward step by step.


poems by Anna Akhmatova
3rd Suite for Solo Cello, Op. 87 by Benjamin Britten

Requiem by Anna Akhmatova. Twelve songs, twelve poems with different intonations, with different voices, twelve songs of the Russian people under terror, says André. There is no manuscript of the Requiem. Anna Akhmatova burned them. She asked seven of her friends, seven women, to come to her house and learn it by heart. And it was seven friends who came to see her for twenty years to make sure that they would pass it on without error.

Concept André Markowicz and Sonia Wieder-Atherton

Translation and voice André Markowicz

Cello Sonia Wieder-Atherton

Photo and video credits Quentin Balpe

Production Théâtre National Populaire